The Premier League has released the 2014-2015 schedule, and they have given Everton a very special treat to open the campaign. The Toffees first match will come away to Leicester, the clubs first home match of the season. Roberto Martinez will have preferred an easier start to the season, a sides first home match in the Premier League always carries the chance of being difficult. After that though the schedule does not let up with a home match against Arsenal followed by a chance to host Chelsea to round out the month of August. It is hard to think there is a harder opening 3 games in the EPL for any team this year.
Fans will not have to wait long for the first leg of the Merseyside Derby. This year it will take place at Anfield on September 27th with the Goodison leg being played on February 7th. This is a bit of a change from the normal routine of playing at Goodison in the fall and at Anfield in the spring. Of course the powers that be were kind enough to schedule Manchester United away after the first derby and Chelsea away after the second one. Kind chaps they are.
The Christmas period is rather kind to Everton this year, and it may be the most important stretch of the campaign. Matches against Manchester City on December 6th and January 10th bookend games against QPR, Southampton, Newcastle, Stoke, and Hull City. All very winnable games and anything less than 10 points could be considered a disappointment.
The run in for Everton is rather kind as games against Aston Villa, Sunderland, and West Ham will be finished by hosting Spurs to close the season out. That final game against Spurs could be one where the winner clinches a Champions League berth.
Overall it is a decent schedule. Outside of 2 stretches where Everton will play Champions League quality opponents right after each other, there is a good mix of hard matches and what should be winnable games. Though everyone wishes the schedule could be perfect, it is hard to nitpick at this one. The season will kick off on August 16th and end on May 24th.