The Premier League released the full schedule of games for the 2018-19 season today, and Everton have been handed, on paper at least, an easier start than last season when they played five of the top six sides in their first ten games.
However, the opening game is a challenging one, with a trip away to newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers who cantered to a win in the Championship last season. The last time the Blues played at Molineux was a 0-0 draw in 2012 under David Moyes.
The first game against a top six side comes in September, with a trip away at Arsenal on the 22nd. The Emirates has not been a happy hunting ground for the Blues in the past and under Marco Silva fans will be hoping for change.
In fact, the Blues play away first to all teams in the top six except Tottenham Hotspur, who they host on December 22nd, and then go away to on the last weekend of the season, May 12th.
Silva will need to keep his wits about him to ensure some decent results away against the top six, especially after last season when the Blues only managed a measly four points in total against the top six out of a total of 36 on hand.
December will be a gruelling month on a number of counts. Everton begin the month away at Anfield, and then go to defending champions Manchester City on the 15th, before returning home to face Spurs the next weekend, and then away at Burnley for the Boxing Day fixture. Then another away game follows three days later with a trip to Brighton in the dead of winter.
The Blues open 2019 at home against Leicester City, followed by no games against top six sides until they host Pep Guardiola’s City on February 23rd. A trip to Wales follows, playing against Cardiff City who replace Swansea City in the top flight.
Overall, things could have been much worse for the Blues, but Marco Silva should be licking his chops ready to get the season started on the right foot.