Everton’s first game back from the coronavirus interruption will be one that they will have some scores to settle in. The Merseyside Derby has been a twice-yearly recurring nightmare for the Blue half for some time now, and getting a win in the fixture would almost be a blessing above the three points it would offer.
The Toffees season will resume on June 21st with the clash against league leaders Liverpool, who might even have a chance to clinch their first ever Premier League title should other results go their way before that. The game is not yet confirmed for Goodison Park where it was scheduled to be held, with it being one of a handful of the 92 remaining games that the authorities would like to monitor for crowds gathering outside the stadium wherever it’ll be held.
A spot in Europe might not be out of the realm of possibility for Everton, especially if they can string together a series of good results, but on the basis of their early season form and barebones squad, Carlo Ancelotti will have a massive task ahead of him.
“We want to win every game we play and any sort of derby match is massive for the fans and for players.
“We want to show how good we can be and we have an opportunity to beat them. We know they are a good side, they are top of the league. We just want to do our best and try to beat them.
“We know we have the ability in the squad to beat them. We just want to do it for ourselves and our fans.”
The 26-year-old has spent the quarantine locked down with his parents, and is feeling refreshed.
“Obviously it’s been difficult but it’s nice to spend time with your family and get a nice big break.
“I’ve not had a break from football since I was probably a 16-year-old - I’ve been in the England set up since then - so it’s nice for my mind and body to have a reset.
“We’re getting ready to go again but it’s been a nice eight or nine weeks off, in the sense of giving your body time to relax.”
Pickford has had an up-and-down season again this campaign, responsible for a few egregious errors that have costed the Blues points but then has also made up for some of it with outstanding saves. Everton will need him to be at his absolute best if they are going to be able to make a march up the table, starting in a fortnight.