Everton v Tottenham: Pochettino eyeing fifth spot

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino has his sights set on claiming automatic qualification for the UEFA Europa League group stage.

Mauricio Pochettino has challenged his Tottenham side to secure fifth place in the Premier League ahead of their final game of the season at Everton on Sunday.

The London club have failed in their attempt to secure a UEFA Champions League spot in Pochettino's first campaign in charge following his arrival from Southampton.

Tottenham could still seal fifth spot with a win at Goodison Park, though, as they trail Liverpool by just a point heading into the last weekend of the season.

That would secure automatic qualification for the group stage of the UEFA Europa League and head coach Pochettino is hoping his side pick up all three points on Merseyside and Liverpool slip up at Stoke City.

"We have the opportunity to achieve fifth in the table and we need to put our energy into Everton," Pochettino said.

Harry Kane has been a revelation for his boyhood club this season, scoring 30 goals in all competitions and forcing his way into the England squad.

Kane, who was this week selected for the England Under-21 squad for the European Championship, has not scored in his last four games, but Pochettino is not concerned by his lack of goals in recent weeks.

The Tottenham head coach said: "This happens in football, up and down with a player, and all sometimes the period during the season it is difficult to score every game.

"But I am not worried about that and only now we need to back him and be positive in the future."

Everton have fallen well short of expectations this season, as they occupy 10th place after finishing fifth 12 months ago.

Manager Roberto Martinez is determined to give Everton fans reason to be optimistic by putting on a show this weekend.

He said: "Spurs are really interesting. I think they are a very strong team and we are looking to give our home fans the joy that they have been giving us this season – to be playing in front of another sell-out crowd makes it a very special game for us.

"Winning is the most important aspect in football and it would be fantastic to get a good performance that can give everyone a really good feeling going into the summer.

"You look at the Spurs side and we are very similar in terms of the tempo we like to play at and the way we want to play the game, so it will be a really interesting game."

Sylvain Distin could make his final Everton appearance if he recovers from illness, but Antolin Alcaraz (muscular), Leighton Baines (ankle), Tony Hibbert (knee), Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo (both metatarsal) are sidelined due to injury and Aaron Lennon is ineligible to face his parent club.

Brad Friedel may be on the Tottenham bench in his last game before he retires with Michel Vorm (illness) a doubt, while Emmanuel Adebayor is on compassionate leave. Kyle Walker (foot) and Ben Davies (shoulder) are ruled out.