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Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports during their live coverage of Aston Villa’s win against Newcastle on Saturday that Dean Smith, Everton and West Ham have a ‘once in a generation’ chance of securing a top-four finish this season.

All three teams are currently sitting in the Premier League’s top eight – Everton are sixth on 32 points, level with seventh-placed West Ham and Villa are one place below the London outfit on 29 points.

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But the key thing is that both Everton and Villa have two games in hand on the Hammers.

Nonetheless, Carragher delivered his verdict on Villa, Everton and West Ham’s Champions League chances and how the top teams winning every week has now ‘gone’ for the time being.

“I just think there are so many teams now who maybe have once in a generation chance of making that top-four position,” said Carragher.

“So many teams now must fancy their chances. Teams at the top winning every week, that’s gone this season, who knows whether that will come back next season. It may do.

“His team [Dean Smith’s Aston Villa], Everton, maybe even David Moyes’ team as well in West Ham. It’s so tight at the top. It has been brilliant for the Premier League. We are set for a really exciting finish. And Aston Villa are right up there.”

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The advantage that Everton and Villa have over the East London outfit is that their owners are willing to put serious money on the table if need be.

Whilst West Ham concluded business over the summer, it was done in a passive and seemingly unplanned manner.

But then again spending the big money isn’t always the answer as a certain Frank Lampard has found out given he’s now out of a job.

In other news, Report: Arsenal make enquiry for £9m man with 10 Premier League appearances