Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hoping for Everton slip-up

Wenger hopes for Everton slip up

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he is hoping for an Everton slip-up in the race for a Champions League spot, but Toffees boss Roberto Martinez believes there is no pressure on his side.

Arsenal's win over West Ham on Tuesday put them a point above Everton, who host Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

"We know we have to win our games and hope Everton slip up," said Wenger.

But Martinez countered: "Pressure comes when you have something to lose. We have everything to gain."

Three days after their FA Cup semi-final win over Wigan, Arsenal came from behind to defeat the Hammers and return to fourth spot in the Premier League.

"Saturday and tonight improves the confidence of the team, but the picture is very clear in front of us," added Wenger. "Let's focus on our job and not look too much at Everton.

"If we need an Everton mistake we will see when we need it, but at the moment we can only do it if we win our games, so let's focus on that."

Everton, whose +22 goal difference is four better than Arsenal's +18, will return to the top four with a draw against Palace at Goodison Park.

"There is no pressure on us," said former Swansea and Wigan boss Martinez. "We have already gained the club's highest points tally in Premier League history - that is an achievement."

Following Martinez's appointment last June, chairman Bill Kenwright revealed that the Spaniard had promised to win qualification to the Champions League.

Speaking before the Palace game, Martinez said: "It was a little bit too early to say we would be challenging because I hadn't even told my players about the vision.

"I expected to be the one to slowly unfold the plans, not just give it on the first day, and my worry was how the group would react. It would have helped if he'd allowed me to say it to the players first.

"I didn't say anything, because I have great respect for the chairman. When you meet him you realise his life is Everton and he has a genuine love for the football club."

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