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'Sneaky chance': Tony Cascarino makes big Everton claim

Tony Cascarino has told The Times that he has a sneaky feeling that Everton could be the side to upset the apple cart and sneak into the Premier League’s top four this season.

Rafa Benitez has made a flying start to life at Goodison Park. The Toffees’ decision to give the Spaniard the job in the summer attracted a lot of negative reaction amongst fans.

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It seemed absolutely imperative that Benitez got off to a flyer given his connections with Liverpool. But it appeared that his cause was not helped by a quiet summer on Merseyside.

The likes of Demarai Gray, Andros Townsend and Salomon Rondon arrived at little cost. But there was no overhaul despite Everton falling away under Carlo Ancelotti last season.

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However, there was clearly no need for one. Everton have been superb so far. They sit fifth in the table, having won four and drawn two of their opening seven games.

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Townsend and Gray have been remarkable signings. And Everton came agonisingly close to beating Manchester United at the weekend.

And while Cascarino admitted that the most likely top four consists of those who finished there last season, he did suggest that the door could be open for the Toffees.

“I think this season’s Champions League quartet of City, Liverpool, Chelsea and United are very likely to take the four places, but I’d give a sneaky chance to Everton,” he told The Times.

“Yes, they’ve had a fairly easy run of fixtures so far but they sit fifth despite injuries to three important players — [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Seamus Coleman.”

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As Cascarino notes, the Toffees have not had the toughest run. Brighton are the only top-half side that they have beaten thus far.

The 3-0 loss to Aston Villa highlighted that there are still issues for Benitez to address over the coming months.

But he has silenced a lot of doubters so far. So there is every reason to believe that Everton could kick on from here.

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