When the Premier League schedule-makers released the 380 fixtures that will comprise the 2017-18 season earlier today, there were some collective gasps. For Everton especially, the tough games come in early and bunched together, with the Blues playing four of last season’s top six in their first five games of the season, three of them away.
Here’s what Everton’s July through September could look like especially if they are able to qualify for the group stage of the Europa League. The EFL Cup has been newly-renamed this season as the Carabao Cup.
- Sat Jul 1 - Summer transfer window opens
- Mon Jul 3 - Players return to training
- Thu Jul 13 - Pre-season: vs Gor Mahia (A)
- Wed Jul 19 - Pre-season: vs FC Twente (A)
- Thu Jul 27 - Europa League 3rd qualifying round (1st leg) (TBD)
- Thu Aug 3 - Europa League 3rd qualifying round (2nd leg) (TBD)
- Sun Aug 6 - Pre-season: vs Sevilla (H)
- Sun Aug 13 - Premier League Matchday 1: vs Stoke City (H)
- Thu Aug 17 - Europa League Playoff round (1st leg) (TBD)
- Sat Aug 19 - Premier League Matchday 2: vs Manchester City (A)*
- Thu Aug 24 - Europa League Playoff round (2nd leg) (TBD)
- Sat Aug 26 - Premier League Matchday 3: vs Chelsea (A)*
- Thu Aug 31 - Summer transfer window closes
- Sat Sep 9 - Premier League Matchday 4: vs Tottenham Hotspur (H)
- Thu Sep 14 - Europa League Group Stage Matchday 1 (TBD)
- Sat Sep 16 - Premier League Matchday 5: vs Manchester United (A)*
- Wed Sep 20 - Carabao Cup 3rd round (TBD)
- Sat Sep 23 - Premier League Matchday 6: vs AFC Bournemouth (H)
- Sat Sep 30 - Premier League Matchday 7: vs Burnley (H)
This season more than ever, the importance of the club getting their transfer market business done early and the players integrated into the system will be crucial to any hopes of success.
If you’re thinking that the League has it in for the Blues though, take a look at this graphic - Leicester City have it worse than we do, but not by too much.
GRAPHIC: Using our unique rating system, we calculate the difficulty of the opening Premier League 2017/18 fixtures for each team pic.twitter.com/9poOLDJaX4— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 14, 2017
Last season, after five games Everton were in second place in the table - they will be hard-pressed to replicate that achievement this season.