While Liverpool are celebrating becoming Champions of Europe, Everton would love a top six finish in the Premier League. They last managed that in the 2013/14 season but have again been busy in the transfer market.
For the second season in a row, Everton finished eighth in the Premier League. They finished 12 points adrift of a top six finish, just two points closer than in the previous season. Everton claimed some notable scalps in the 2018/19 season but consistency wasn’t their strong point. They failed to win two consecutive away league games last season.
It must have been difficult for Everton last season to see their neighbours achieve so much success. Everton again spent big and then started slowly. Their first six league games only produced six points with just one victory. That was followed by a run of one loss in seven games but Everton just couldn’t keep it up. They won just three of their next 14 games and there was plenty of talk of Marco Silva losing his job. He’s 16/1 (17.0) at Betfair to be the next Premier League manager to leave his job.
The best example of their inconsistency was when they lost 6-2 at home to Tottenham. Just three days later they went to Burnley and won 5-1. March to May saw their defence working wonders with five straight home clean sheets. That included wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United plus a draw with Liverpool. They just need to be more consistent this season.
The past two summers have seen Everton spending big in the transfer window. It hasn’t quite worked out for them but again, they have been busy. Already signed have been Andre Gomez from Barcelona and Fabian Delph from Manchester City. Both look solid signings but more are needed. The current rumours are that they are chasing Wilfried Zaha, that could be a major signing if that becomes reality.
There have been departures too with Idiris Gueye heading to PSG and Ademola Lookman making his loan at RB Leipzig a permanent deal. Yannick Bolasie, Oumar Niasse, Kevin Mirallas and James McCarthy are also up for sale.
Nine away league games were lost by Everton in the 2018/19 season. That’s 19 defeats in the past two seasons with only eight wins. That’s not the kind of record that takes a team into the top six.
Only 54 league goals were scored last season and less than 100 in the last two. Sigurdsson and Richarlison both netted 13 goals in the Premier League last season. The next highest was six by Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Everton need more players making contributions to their goal tally.
Early Fixture List
10 August: Crystal Palace (away)
17 August: Watford (home)
23 August: Aston Villa (away)
1 September: Wolves (home)
15 September: Bournemouth (away)
It’s not the hardest of opening fixtures with no games against sides who finished in the top six last season. Their two home games both look winnable ones. Away form has to be improved by Everton and their first three games on the road are all ones that could produce three points. Their sixth fixture is Sheffield United at home, so another slow start looks unlikely.
Everton are again spending big in the transfer market. They are an ambitious club with a new stadium on the way and finishing eighth for a third season in a row isn’t their desired target. If they could get hold of Wilfried Zaha, that would be a significant signing indeed. The odds on them finishing in the top six are 4/1 (5.0) if your bet is placed with William Hill.
The Blues need to find consistency this season and cut out those bad patches. Away form has to be improved after just five wins last season. Three of those were against Burnley, Cardiff and Huddersfield, not a great list considering two were relegated. Everton need a good start and then have to build on it. The top six is going to be difficult to break into though and the prediction here is that they will finish seventh and possibly have a good cup run. A bet on the Premier League without the top six has Everton the 10/3 (4.33) favourites and looks worth a bet.