Phil Jagielka is wary of the threat posed by teams fighting for their lives ahead of their trip to struggling Portsmouth on Saturday.
The Toffees currently lie sixth in the league with just four points separating themselves from Arsenal and that lucrative fourth spot.
With Pompey, out of the bottom three on goal difference, awaiting them at the weekend, the 26-year-old insists that games against teams who are battling for survival can prove to be just as tough as facing sides in the higher echelons of the table.
Three of Everton's last nine games have come against teams currently in the bottom half of the table and Jagielka is ready for the scrap.
"I think the survival games are a little harder," the former Sheffield United ace told Sky Sports News.
"We have quite a few of them out of the way but we have also got quite a few to come but those games are by no means easy.
"But I suppose if you want to pick up points we maybe prefer to play a team that aren't on form rather than those who are."
Meanwhile, Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has reiterated his belief that in order to break into the top four the club needs more investment.
"The difficulty is I know that we are going to need financial clout to get us back up there," he said.
"The kids coming through are fantastic but as for the opportunity to bring in new talent we are not at the forefront because we have not got that kind of money."