The 2019-20 Premier League fixture list is out, and Everton begin the new season with a tricky away tie, playing at Crystal Palace. The home opener comes the week after that, with Watford FC coming to Goodison Park, a game that was the subject of much acrimony last season.
Below is Everton’s schedule in its entirety, with some quick thoughts on the best and worst months facing the Blues.
10TH SAT A Crystal Palace - By no means an easy start to the season against an Eagles side that was better last season than their lowly position belied.
17TH SAT H Watford FC - Always a feisty clash, things have amped up in recent season especially between fans.
24TH SAT A Aston Villa - The most-played fixture in the top division football, they will give the Blues a torrid welcome to Villa Park.
31ST SAT H Wolverhampton Wanderers - We’ll see how the Wolves are faring in Europe at this point, a must-win game early on in the season.
August is not an easy start to the season for Everton, and we’ll be playing significant games early on against teams that we will be neck-and-neck against for most of the season.
14TH SAT A AFC Bournemouth - A clash that always has multiple goals, Blues will be looking for away points.
21ST SAT H Sheffield United - Newly promoted Blades come to Goodison Park - will former captain Phil Jagielka be in their ranks?
28TH SAT H Manchester City - The Premier League champions come to Merseyside, Blues’ first game against a top six side comes early in the season.
September should offer Marco Silva some respite after a torrid start to the season. Taking on the champions is never an enviable task, can the Blues snatch some points here?
5TH SAT A Burnley - No one is expecting to beat a Sean Dyche side away 5-1, but the Blues need to be better away from home.
19TH SAT H West Ham United - Another highly-anticipated game, depending on which Everton show up.
26TH SAT A Brighton & Hove Albion - Down to the south we go, though it won’t quite be a jaunt on the beach, or will it?
With the chill in the air comes some winnable games both at home and away.
2ND SAT H Tottenham Hotspur - Second game against the top six, also at home. Blues don’t have a good recent history against Spurs.
9TH SAT A Southampton - The Blues always seem to lay an egg in this one whenever they’re at St. Mary’s.
23RD SAT H Norwich City - This has also been a feisty clash in the past, happy we’re playing them at home first.
30TH SAT A Leicester City - The Blues and Foxes should be in the thick of the seventh-place battle at this point, this could provide some fireworks.
Another month that will be a test of Everton’s credentials as a top six challenger, or if we’re doomed to another season of inching forward then falling behind in the race for ‘best of the rest’.
4TH WED A Liverpool - First Merseyside Derby of the season will be away, just like last season.
7TH SAT H Chelsea - Just a few days after the derby we welcome Chelsea - without Eden Hazard how good will they be?
14TH SAT A Manchester United - No letting up in December, with a trip to Old Trafford beckoning. Another tough game.
21ST SAT H Arsenal - Make it four games against top six opposition in a row, yikes!
26TH THU H Burnley - Boxing Day will be a home game against Burnley as we get done with them for the season first.
28TH SAT A Newcastle United - Blues will head to the Northeast during the holiday season for what should be a raucous game again.
Difficult, difficult month. Hard to see a best case scenario here of more than three wins, maybe four. Worst case? Let’s not even talk about it. Needless to say the Blues cannot have a midseason slump like last season or we’ll be in a lot of trouble during this festive period.
1ST WED A Manchester City - We start the return legs against the top six sides at City. Fans will appreciate not having to travel too far.
11TH SAT H Brighton - After the hectic festive period, a home game and a chance to pick up some points at Goodison.
18TH SAT A West Ham United - Blues travel to London Stadium hopefully with some points between them and the Hammers.
21ST TUE H Newcastle United - Rafa Benitez’s side come visiting, and Jordan Pickford will have the home support with him here.
Apart from City away, the Blues have a couple of games where they can continue to show the League what they’re made of.
1ST SAT A Watford - Silva and his Blues will likely receive another ‘warm’ welcome at Vicarage Road, especially if the Hornets are struggling.
8TH SAT H Crystal Palace - Blues reprise their first game of the season
22ND SAT A Arsenal - Which Arsenal will the Blues be traveling to? Will Unai Emery get it together or are the Blues going to be in touching distance of the Gunners?
29TH SAT H Manchester United - Same here, are United going to struggle this season and will the Blues be able to close the gap? Another 4-0 home win would be delicious.
February is a sneaky tricky month. Everton will need to keep their wits about them to get points out of this month.
7TH SAT A Chelsea - Will the London side be stretched playing the Champions League as well as the domestic schedule? Can the Toffees pounce?
14TH SAT H Liverpool - Another four-top-six-sides-in-a-row sequence ends with the home leg of the Merseyside Derby. Would be great if we continue to rack up some points.
21ST SAT A Norwich City - End the month with another away fixture we seem to have struggled with in the past. How will the Canaries be faring at this point?
March doesn’t let up, and it’s looking like there’s no easy months for the Blues.
4TH SAT H Leicester City - It’ll be very clear by this time if the two sides are battling for the same spots, and this will be a tough battle.
11TH SAT A Spurs - Finish the top six schedule away in North London, just like last season. However, being done with them much earlier than ever before is a positive.
18TH SAT H Southampton - When this is your easiest game of the month, then it’s not been a very easy month.
25TH SAT A Wolves - Same as the Foxes - will Wolves still be in Europe? Will it have decimated their squad, or are they going to be contending for 7th (or better!) again?
A clash against a top six side and two games against teams that we’ll be locked in step with will make for a challenging month.
2ND SAT H Aston Villa - The start of a three game stretch where neither team might have anything to play for.
9TH SAT A Sheffield United - Will the Blades have done enough to secure their Premier League survival by this point?
17TH SUN H Bournemouth - A fixture that always carries a bucket of goals is a good way to end the season, and say thank you to the fans.
Just maybe May is the best month, with three winnable games to close out the season, especially if the Blues have a finishing kick like last season.