With just over eight weeks remaining until the new season kicks off the Premier League fixtures have been released and Everton will travel to face Norwich City in the first match of the season at Carrow Road.
Everton do not have a great record against the Canaries, but recorded a famous win in 1987 to clinch the League title. The Blues will be looking to get their season off to a flying start with a win in Roberto Martinez’ first competitive match in charge, but Everton will come up against a new look Norwich strike force, with Ricky van Wolfswinkel signing from Sporting Lisbon for £8.5m and Chris Houghton continuing to trawl the transfer market for further attacking additions.
August presents Everton with an excellent opportunity to get some early points on the board, even though the fixture computer has generated two away trips out of their opening three fixtures. After the trip to Norwich, West Brom visit Goodison, before the Blues make their first visit to Wales to take on newly promoted Cardiff City.
September starts with a difficult home match against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. The Londoners were the only side to beat Everton at Goodison Park in the Premier League last season and the Toffees will relish the early opportunity to put the record straight. Next up is a trip to the Capital to face West Ham, where the Blues will hope to enhance their recent good record, before Newcastle travel to Goodison for the final match in September.
October begins with a trip to the Etihad to face Manchester City and a reunion with Chilean, Manual Pellegrini. The former Real Madrid manager was in charge of Villareal when the Spanish side denied David Moyes and Everton progression into the Group Stages of the Champions League in 2005. Yet another international break then disrupts the flow of the season, before Everton host another of the newly promoted sides, Hull City. The final match of October sees Everton travel to Villa Park and the Blues will be hoping for a repeat of last season’s performance, when the Toffees destroyed Aston Villa with a blistering first half display.
The first Merseyside derby of the season will take place in November and Roberto Martinez will be relishing the prospect of taking on Brendan Rodgers at Goodison Park. Prior to that fixture, which is provisionally scheduled for 23rd November, Everton take on Spurs at home, before travelling to the Play Off winners, Crystal Palace. November is completed with another home fixture, Mark Hughes bringing his new Stoke team up the M6 to take on the Toffees.
With 6 Premier League fixtures scheduled for December, it promises to be the busiest month of the season. The month starts with two difficult games, firstly a trip to Old Trafford for a reunion with David Moyes, a Tuesday night fixture that is sure to attract the TV cameras, before a match with Arsenal away at the Emirates. Everton will be grateful of the home fixture against Fulham and will look to continue their 100% home record against the Cottagers. Evertonians face a pre-Christmas trip to South Wales to take on Swansea, before Sunderland arrive at Goodison on Boxing Day. Just two days later and the boys are back at Goodison, with Southampton making the long trip up from the South Coast.
The New Year kicks off with a trip to the Potteries to take on Stoke City, before Norwich City arrive at Goodison. The two opening league fixtures of 2014 will be separated by the 3rd round of the FA Cup. The Blues then face a difficult trip to the West Midlands to take on the much improved West Brom, before the return Merseyside derby at Anfield. Evertonians all around the world will be hoping that Martinez has a better record at Liverpool than his predecessor, with Everton still waiting for their first win at Anfield since 1999.
February features home games against Villa and Palace, and the Blues will be looking to pick up maximum points from those games with two difficult trips to London to take on Spurs and Chelsea completing the schedule.
The season will be taking shape by March, with crucial points at stake. The month opens with West Ham at Goodison, before the Blues take on Newcastle at St James’ Park. The two Welsh sides then make the journey to Merseyside in consecutive weeks, with first Cardiff and then Swansea taking on Everton. The month ends with Everton at The Cottage to take on Fulham.
April features two difficult home matches and the game the Blues will be looking forward to the most. Arsenal arrive at Goodison for the opening home game, before Everton travel to Sunderland. Next up is the return to Everton for David Moyes and the home crowd will enjoy nothing more than putting a huge dent in their title ambitions as the season draws to a close. The final match in April sees Everton make the mammoth trip to Hampshire to face Southampton.
The final home match of the season could be hugely significant at the top of the Premier League table with Manchester City in town. Everton’s recent record against City is excellent and the Blues will hope to end the season in fine form. Everton finish the campaign with an away match against Hull City. Many expect the Tigers to struggle and Everton could be in the position of relegating Hull in a final day showdown.