With a new season underway, the Toffees enter a new cycle in which they will try to improve on last season’s lacklustre conclusion in tenth place. After a heated summer transfer window, which began with Ancelotti’s departure, it seems that Everton are now finally in a position where they can begin to dream about European football.
Notably, the summer began with the assignment of Rafael Benitez as head coach, an impressive decision that makes him only the second person to manage both Everton and their Merseyside rivals since William Edward Barclay.
During his stay at Anfield, Benitez managed to lead the team to win the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup. Over 15 years later, UEFA Champions League odds price the Reds as one of the favourites to top the competition at odds of 9/1. However, you can’t read into early season predictions too much, just as fickle football fans learned last season when Liverpool took a dramatic nosedive that saw them land in third place. This was despite breaking the previous record for the club, in terms of an unbeaten stretch of games played at Anfield, with an awe-inspiring 68 games.
Indeed, even if the Champions League betting tips predict that Liverpool is to fall within the top five teams fighting for the Champions League title, in past years there have certainly been far too many surprise qualifiers and upsets to take these predictions as gospel.
It’s already clear that with Benitez on a different side this time around, Everton’s prospects look seriously good. Four official games in, the Toffees remain unbeaten having scored nine goals and conceded four. The squad’s top scorer last season, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, has been struggling with injuries over the summer but hasn’t let this deter him from netting an impressive three goals in three Premier League matches. At the same time, Richarlison also seems to be in good form after a mostly positive run for Brazil’s national team during the summer.
This new season also sees another crucial part of Everton return: the fans. Goodison Park is one of the most historic and atmospheric grounds in the country, and the presence of loyal supporters will undoubtedly help to boost morale as the side attempts to reach European competitions.
On the way in, and without big-name signings, Everton managed to secure two interesting players. One of those signings was the experienced winger Andros Townsend. While initially many eyebrows were raised upon his free transfer singing, his first three season games have been extremely positive. Andros has not only demonstrated an admirable work rate but also helped Everton reach the third round of the Carabao Cup after scoring a late goal.
Another important signing was Demarai Gray, the English up-and-comer who returned to the Premier League after joining Bayer Leverkusen for a single season. Gray joined the club for a £1.6 million fee and that investment is already looking like a bargain, as the 25-year-old scored two goals in his first three games in the PL for Everton.
All in all, things appear to be looking up for the Toffees, who will be looking to prove their worth under the guidance of the knowledgeable and experienced head coach, Benitez
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