Everton's Champions League aspirations rest on Tuesday night's encounter with Arsenal, manager David Moyes admits.
The Toffees are currently three points off a coveted fourth spot, sitting in sixth place behind Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in a tightly contested battle for the right to compete in next season's Champions League.
Moyes' side have collected four wins from their last five games, sharing a 2-2 scoreline with rivals Spurs in the remaining fixture to leave the Merseyside outfit in contention for a top four finish. Their opponents on Tuesday night currently occupy third place and Moyes understands that his side must continue to do everything in their power to deny those around them and keep their own European hopes alive.
"The games are running out and we're getting closer to the end of the season," Moyes told Sky Sports.
"If we've got any small chance of getting in the Champions League we need to get something out of this game and try and peg Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea back.
"For the last month or so we've been the big underdogs to be anywhere close to the Champions League but with the way we've been playing and the results we've been getting it keeps us hoping that there is a real chance.
Everton's only other appearance in Europe's elite competition came back in 2005 when their European adventure was short-lived as Moyes' side crashed out in third qualifying round to Villarreal.
While he has his eye firmly on a top four finish, Moyes also admitted that his club would welcome the opportunity to participate in the Europa League, should a Champions League spot elude the club.
"From our point of view, no matter what happens we are still in the fight for a European spot and for Everton to be saying that at this time of year is a positive thing and we should be pleased with that," he added.
Following their visit to the Emirates Stadium, Everton embark on a testing series of games that could also play a defining role in the club's European hopes. Away trips to Liverpool and Chelsea await the Toffees, in addition to the intriguing visit of a Sunderland side immeasurably boosted by their Tyne-Wear derby success on Sunday.