After one win from his opening six games in charge of Everton, Marco Silva has led the team into the top-half of the table and onto the fringes of the battle for a European qualification place
After one win from his opening six games in charge of Everton, Marco Silva has led the team into the top-half of the table and onto the fringes of the battle for a European qualification place.
Following four consecutive mid-table finishes since Roberto Martinez guided Everton to the Europa League in 2014, the team has shown promise over the past couple of months that European football may be on the cards again in the near future. We suggest that you keep an eye on odds in betting sites such as BetEasy to see if Everton can finish in the top six this campaign. Click here to learn more on the latest odds in the upcoming matches.
The Portuguese coach still has work to do on Everton’s defence. Jordan Pickford has kept only five clean sheets in 22 Premier League matches so far this season and three of those came in home matches against the bottom six at the time. The Toffees had favourable odds to do just that with the bookies going into each of those games.
The 0-0 draw at Chelsea that annoyed Maurizio Sarri in November showed the team’s credentials with Yerry Mina and Michael Keane as the centre-back pairing. Lucas Digne has looked excellent at left-back, both defensively and pushing forward, since arriving from Barcelona over the summer.
Silva is also getting the best out of Richarlison after bringing him in from Watford over the summer. The Brazilian has been effective both as a striker and winger for Everton so far.
Gylfi Sigurdsson is also proving very useful in the number 10 role, bagging eight goals in 22 league appearances this term. Everton could do with more goals from attacking players such as Cenk Tosun, Theo Walcott and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, although the latter has played well over the last few weeks.
Europa League football next season may be an unrealistic target, particularly with Manchester United’s recent resurgence under temporary manger Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, 7th place could still provide a route into Europe if the FA Cup or EFL Cup winners grant an extra spot in the league for qualification.
Everton start February with a home game against Wolves before travelling to Watford the following weekend. The Toffees relied on a stoppage time free kick from Lucas Digne to snatch a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park against the Hornets back in December.
After the FA Cup fifth round in mid-February, Everton visit Manchester City before finishing the month with a trip to Cardiff City on a Tuesday night.
The following weekend is the second Merseyside derby of the season. Unfortunately, this doesn’t fall the same week as either of Liverpool’s Champions League second round ties against Bayern Munich.
A run of consecutive favourable fixtures isn’t on the cards for the remainder of the season. The Liverpool game is followed up with a trip to Newcastle United and then Chelsea at Goodison Park. West Ham United (A), Arsenal (H), Fulham (A) and Man United (H) completes a tricky run of games.
Everton should be aiming for back-to-back victories at Crystal Palace and then at home to Burnley if they’re still fighting for European football at this stage of the season, before the 2018/19 campaign concludes with a trip to Tottenham Hotspur, which could be at Wembley or their new stadium.
This is only Marco Silva’s second transfer window at the club since he joined last summer. Further improvements before the start of next season should give an indication on whether European football is a genuine target within two years, and perhaps winning the FA Cup would be realistic. Right now, punters would certainly get long odds on that.