It was looming all season long, but now it is a reality - Everton are facing an imminent relegation threat following a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in last weekend's Merseyside derby.
Everton's fellow relegation rivals Burnley have won back-to-back matches to dig themselves out of the drop zone for the first time in 2022, sending the Toffees in the opposite direction.
Despite having a game in hand on the Clarets, Frank Lampard's men are in a massive trouble heading into the final five rounds of the Premier League fixtures.
Everton have not won the title in England's top-flight since 1986/87, but their relegation would still be shocking.
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The Goodison Park chiefs invested heavily to reinforce the squad last summer and completed a few high-profile signings in January, yet the Toffees' football has become increasingly uninspiring.
So it is no wonder soccer Betway rates them as 9/10 candidates to drop to the Championship.
It will be up to Lampard to orchestrate his side's comeback in the season finale following a run of one win from five league matches (D1, L3).
Let's take a look at Everton's six remaining Premier League games and what they could do to preserve their top-flight status.
Chelsea - home
Third-placed Chelsea will arrive at Goodison on Sunday with potentially jellied legs, as they are about to take on old foes Manchester United on Thursday.
Everton are unbeaten in their last three Premier League home outings (W2, D1), while they have won three consecutive home league H2Hs since a scoreless draw in 2017.
The Toffees should happily take a point against Thomas Tuchel's team, but there is a genuine reason for optimism.
Leicester City - away
Regardless of Leicester City's underwhelming domestic season, the King Power Stadium has never been a friendly environment for the visiting sides.
Yet, Everton have won two of their last three league visits to the East Midlands (L1), including a comfortable 2-0 triumph in this exact fixture in 2020/21.
Those were the happy days for the Toffees, who have won a league-low six points away from home this Premier League season.
Therefore, it is hard to expect them to bounce back at one of the fiercest hostile venues in England.
Watford - home
Everton's trip to Vicarage Road to take on out-of-sorts Watford on May 11 could prove a season-defining showdown for Lampard's side.
With the Hornets already galloping towards a swift Championship reunion, the Merseysiders will have to get the most out of this fixture if they were to bolster their survival hopes.
Roy Hodgson's men have lost their last four league games, taking their defeats tally for the season to 23.
Brentford - home
Only four days after their clash against Watford, Everton will play host to a resurgent Brentford side in a potentially tricky affair at Goodison.
Memories will be rushing back to Lampard, who launched his managerial stint in Merseyside with an overwhelming 4-1 FA Cup triumph over the Bees.
However, Brentford claimed a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture in London and are currently enjoying a decent four-game unbeaten league streak (W3, D1).
Crystal Palace - home
Mid-table Crystal Palace will land at Goodison on the penultimate matchday, looking to inflict more pain on the Toffees faithful.
Patrick Vieira's men strolled to 3-1 reverse victory at Selhurst Park before dispatching Lampard's team from the FA Cup quarter-finals, courtesy of a crashing 4-0 win.
Since Vieira seemingly has Everton's number this season, which threatens to make things even more complicated for the Merseysiders.
Arsenal - away
Everton will head to the Emirates Stadium to take on high-flying Arsenal on the final weekend.
Following back-to-back wins over Chelsea and Man United, the Gunners are again in the driving seat to capture a long-awaited top-four Premier League finish.
With a fourth-place finish up for grabs, Mikel Arteta's men will likely fight tooth and nail to sink the Toffees.
Another ominous sign for the relegation strugglers.
Everton will need nothing short of miraculous to avoid relegation, but if Lampard can get the most out of his squad's potential, there is still a chance.
Matches against Watford, Brentford and Palace will be key, while any points against Arsenal and Leicester would be more than welcome.
However, we are not too optimistic.
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