Self-interest remains the key factor for Everton as they look to stun Manchester City and help Liverpool’s title hopes, according to Leon Osman.
Merseyside co-operation remains a rare thing in the Premier League but the prospect of Everton taking points off City at Goodison Park on Saturday has sparked claims Osman and his team-mates are keen to help arch-rivals Liverpool win their first championship in 24 years.
City will travel to Everton knowing they can put one hand on the Premier League trophy with a win, as they will, at worst, finish the weekend three points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.
But Everton will also start the match desperate for victory as they look to keep the pressure on Arsenal in the race for UEFA Champions League qualification, and, while Osman has promised Roberto Martinez’s men will give 100 per cent, he has denied it is out of any sense of collective Merseyside spirit.
“Absolutely,” the midfielder told the Daily Mail on Tuesday, when asked if Everton would try their best.
“We’re professionals and it’s what we do. It’s a big game at Goodison and we want to enjoy it and win it.
“City needed to rely on a slip-up by Liverpool to give them a chance (to win the title) so they’re probably favourites now and it’s up to us to stop them.
“A lot of clubs will be watching this game very closely but we’ve got to put all that out of our minds and do what we always do and go into the game to win.”
With two games left, Everton trail Arsenal by four points in the Premier League table.
Arsenal sit fourth, which comes with a berth in the qualifying rounds of next season’s Champions League, but Everton have not given up hope of reeling in the London club.
With Arsenal set to play their penultimate game of the season on Sunday, Osman wants Everton to lay down the gauntlet to the capital club with victory against City.
“While it’s still mathematically possible we’ll be aiming to achieve it (a top-four finish),” the 32-year-old said.
“We can only do that if we win our last two games, which is what we want.
“With us playing first and being able to put the pressure back on Arsenal, it will be a good thing for us if we make sure we try and win that game.”
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