The new Premier League season brings hope, up and down the country, to many football fans that their side can have a big campaign.
This is particularly the case for the Toffees as it will be the first season where manager Carlo Ancelotti has had a pre-season to work with his players since he was appointed as Marco Silva’s replacement back in December. The Italian has also been able to add his players to the squad this summer.
Everton finished last season in 12th place and for them to have a shot at finishing in one of the European places at the end of the new campaign, here are three areas they will need to improve in.
Form Away from Home
Everton picked up just 18 points last season away from home. They won five, drew three, and lost 11 of their fixtures on the road.
This is clearly something that needs to improve if the Toffees are to move up the table. It may be that Ancelotti changes his approach away from home to ensure his side have more protection at the back.
There were signs at the latter stages of last season that Everton were improving away from home. They defeated Norwich 1-0 at Carrow Road back in June, while on the final day of the season, they recorded a 1-0 success over Sheffield United at Bramhall Lane.
It may be that the absence of a crowd helps Everton at the start of this campaign, so Ancelotti will be keen to maximise as many points as he can before fans return. His side are odds-on at 8/13 in the betting to finish in the top half. The ambition will be much more than that so if they start picking up more points away, the Toffees should comfortably finish in the opening half of the table.
Given the quality in the squad, it is a real surprise that Everton performed so poorly from set pieces last season.
Ancelotti will no doubt have worked hard during the pre-season on dead ball situations as his side must perform much better. The like of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison are both dangerous from free kicks, while the Toffees have centre-halves who attack the ball well from corners.
The Italian is known for having his teams extremely organised so you would expect to see a huge improvement in this area in the 2020/21 campaign.
Only five teams had less clean sheets than Everton last season. The Toffees could manage just nine and three of those came in the final eight matches of the campaign.
Everton have a lot of talented players across their defensive line and in Jordan Pickford, a goalkeeper who has proved himself to be one of the best in the league. Ancelotti will likely demand his whole team take more responsibility for clean sheets next year.
If the Toffees can improve defensively, they will prove to be a very difficult side to beat next season. It would also give them an excellent chance of meeting their objectives.
Everton’s opening game of the new Premier League season comes against Tottenham on the 13th September at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
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