David Moyes believes that Everton will again be pushed all the way by Norwich City this weekend.
Sebastien Bassong stole a point with an injury-time equaliser at Goodison Park in November, while the Canaries twice fought back to earn a share of the spoils in last season’s meeting at Carrow Road – a game best remembered for Nikica Jelavic’s clinical brace.
With Norwich also pressing hard for their first Premier League win since mid-December, Moyes is predicting another typically tight match-up in East Anglia this weekend, where the Blues themselves are looking to get back on track following three games without victory.
“It's an important game for us,” said Moyes at his Friday press conference. “Every game becomes a little bit more significant but that's what happens at this time of the year. We'll go there and we'll try to get ourselves a good result.
“We're not long out of January and there's been a lot of games and I think teams sometimes have to slog it out. But I think there's very little between the teams in the Premier League at the moment.
“From the top to the bottom - you might find that the team from the top ends up winning the game - but I don't think games are getting won that easily. All the games are quite close right now.
“I think all the games in the Premier League have got their own level of difficulty and I don't think anyone would ever go away from home thinking they've got an easy game, and I don't think we will at Norwich, that's for sure.
“They made it very hard and scored in the last minute against us here to make it 1-1, so we know it's going to be a tough game.”
Norwich were last victorious in the Premier League against Wigan Athletic – a winless run which stretches back nine matches to 15 December.
However, Moyes believes that Chris Hughton’s team will have enough in their locker to ensure they remain a Premier League outfit for the third season in succession.
“I think Norwich had a pretty good start to the season. They have slipped up a little bit now but overall they have done well,” added Moyes.
“I think Chris Hughton has done a really good job. It was always going to be hard going in after Paul [Lambert] but he has picked up the baton really well at Norwich.
“I don’t think they look like a club that are going to be in trouble at all this year. Chris has done well.”