Fellaini ban makes top four a tough task for Everton

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Marouane Fellaini’s headbutt on Ryan Shawcross could have ended Everton’s bid for a top four finish.

The Belgian was the instigator of three incidents involving Shawcross, with the headbutt on the Stoke defender in a fiery 1-1 draw the worst of all.

“We will take the punishment if it comes,” said boss David Moyes.

“I have told them in the dressing room that it is not acceptable. As a manager, I will not accept it that he does that.

“Some might have come in here and hid behind it and said: ‘Sorry, didn’t see it’. I have answered it as straight and as honestly as I possibly can.”

Early rumours suggest the player could be in line for a nine-match Premier League ban which would see him miss the rest of December and the entirety of the busy January schedule, including games against Chelsea and Newcastle – and that could be disastrous for Everton’s European ambitions.

Fellaini has been brilliant for the Merseyside club this season, hitting eight goals and drawing admiring glances from the likes of Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, who are both rumoured to be eyeing big-money moves.

Everton are currently at 5/1 to finish in the top four but, with Spurs continuing to look extremely threatening under the tutelage of Andre Villas-Boas and Arsenal sure to improve at some point, that looks a little beyond them.

However, backing the Toffees to finish in the top six at 8/11 continues to look a cracking price with Moyes’ men showing all the resilience we’ve come to expect from teams under his leadership.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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