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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Steve Round says Everton are out to scupper any need for the Premier League to organise an emergency play-off fixture by condemning Chelsea to defeat this weekend.

The League confirmed on Wednesday certain permutations that could necessitate an extra game between Chelsea and Arsenal to determine which side secures third place and automatic qualification for the Champions League.

If Everton were to draw at Stamford Bridge, an Arsenal win could leave the two London clubs level on points, goal difference and goals scored.

But with victory enough to kill any need for a calculator and guarantee the Blues’ best ever Premier League points total in the process, assistant boss Round says Everton will have no intention of settling for anything less.

"It's a massive game," he told evertontv. "Everton versus Chelsea always is, home or away.

"It's two big clubs and usually when we play there, it's a good attacking game with two sides going for the win. I see the same this Sunday.

"We'll go there full of confidence and with freedom in our belts and ready to win and get Everton's record for points in the Premier League."

Chelsea’s preparations will have been overshadowed to some degree by Wednesday’s dramatic Europa League final win over Benfica.

Branislav Ivanovic’s stunning injury-time header earned the London side a 2-1 victory in Amsterdam to ensure back-to-back European titles for the Londoners.

Round, however, says Everton can focus only on their own game and providing manager David Moyes with a fitting victory to end his 11 years in charge.

“The final could drain them emotionally and mentally, so you're never quite sure,” said Round. "The one thing is they've got enough rest days with it being a Sunday kick-off for them to be fully fit. It's their last home game so they'll want to see their crowd off in a good manner and maybe parade the cup too.

"It doesn't make the challenge any harder or any more easy for us. We just need to go there and play our own game.

"Some of the football we've played recently - against West Ham in particular - was excellent. We're in a good run of form, with good points in the bag and we'll want to go there and get three more."

Sunday's hosts narrowly came out on top in the reverse fixture at Goodison Park in December.

Frank Lampard's brace cancelled out Steven Pienaar's early opener in a contest the Blues were themselves unfortunate not to win.

It remains Everton’s sole defeat on home soil in the league this term, though Round acknowledges the quality of the opposition they faced.

"Chelsea are a very good side,” he said. “They've got lots of young, exciting players and they're a side in transition.

"They've phased out one or two of the old guard in terms of Didier Drogba and others that have left and brought in Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar.

"They look an exciting team going forward for the future. They have lots of pace, lots of ability and lots of technique, as well as having kept some of the stalwarts in Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry.

"It would have been easy for them to go off the rails having changed their manager, but the squad's pulled together and reached the Europa League final. That's no mean feat no matter what team you are."

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