Welcome to IntoTheTopCorner’s team-by-team preview to the new Barclays Premier League season. Here we look at Everton’s vital stats, their summer transfers and analyse their chances.
Manager: David Moyes.
Captain: Phil Neville
Stadium: Goodison Park (40,216).
Last season: 7th.
Leading scorer (PL): Nikica Jelavic (9).
Odds: Title 275-1. Relegation 30-1.
In: Steven Naismith (Free, Rangers), Steven Pienaar (£4.5m, Tottenham).
Out: Adam Davies (Released), Adam Forshaw (Free, Brentford), Tim Cahill (£1.1m, N.Y. Red Bulls), Marcus Hahnemann (Released), James McFadden (Released), Aristote Nsiala (Free, Accrington), Femi Orenuga (Released), Connor Roberts (Released), Jack Rodwell (£13.2m, Manchester City), James Wallace (Undisc., Tranmere), Joseph Yobo (£2.2m, Fenerbahce).
Key Man – Nikica Jelavic
Although the imposing Croatian striker has yet to play a full season in the Premier League, he is already a fan favourite at Goodison Park after having established himself as the Toffees’ first-choice striker. The target man was the club’s top goalscorer last season with 9 goals and David Moyes will be hoping the former Rangers man continues his good form as his goals will be very important for a top 6 finish this season.
20-Aug – Man Utd (H)
25-Aug – Aston Villa (A)
01-Sep – West Brom (A)
17-Sep – Newcastle (H)
22-Sep – Swansea (A)
29-Sep – Southampton (H)
Probable Formation (4-4-2): Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Heitinga, Baines; Osman, Fellaini, Gibson, Pienaar; Naismith, Jelavic.
Verdit: David Moyes continues to get his team well drilled ahead of the new season and fired by the goals of the Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic, the Toffees will be pressing for a top-six finish harder than ever. The re-acquisition of Steven Pienaar is very helpful as the South African’s creativity and pace will be a threat for any team. If Jelavic and Steven Naismith click, the Toffees will be more of an attacking threat than last season but the lack of creativity in the midfield could hamper the team’s success. With their arch-rivals Liverpool expected to improve under Brendan Rodgers, I expect the Reds to finish above the Blues this season.