After a fantastic start to the 2020/21 Premier League campaign and with Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, many Everton fans have had to amend their predictions on where the Toffees will finish at the end of the season. The results across the league so far suggest it could be a wide-open competition this year, with six or seven clubs in contention for the title.
After assessing where Everton stand in comparison to the other 19 clubs in the league, what would represent a successful season now? We’ve taken a look at the possible scenarios.
First League Championship Since 1987
Everton fans have every right to start dreaming about a magical ending to the season. They had to see their rivals Liverpool lift the trophy earlier this year, something which was hard to watch. With a world-class manager, who has won major honours in just about every country, now in charge, and players such as James Rodriguez, anything is possible.
Everton are 100/1 in the Premier League betting for the title this season. Those odds obviously suggest it is unlikely. As long as the Toffees stay in the race though, and are not out of touch in January, the top spot will be the aim. Ancelotti’s men won’t be expected to win the league, so falling short of that target will not be a failure, especially as they lack the squad depth of the top teams such as Manchester City. Just being in contention with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham, would be a huge step forward for the club.
Back in the Champions League
Everton were last in the Champions League in 2005. That was after the Toffees finished fourth in the Premier League table, one place above rivals Liverpool.
Under the hands of David Moyes, Everton were handed a really tough draw in the final qualifying round as they had to face Villarreal. The Spanish side came through 4-2 after two legs which meant Everton failed to make the group stages. Villarreal took full advantage of their place in the competition that season as they reached the semi-final, losing to Arsenal in the last four.
A top four finish this season would be a great achievement for the Toffees. Given the competition for one of those spaces, Everton will need to be very consistent throughout the season to get there. They are 9/1 in the betting for one of those spaces so they will need to upset the odds to do so.
Arguably the most realistic target Ancelotti will be setting his players this season is a top six finish. This is likely to be enough to see them qualify back into Europe.
Everton have had excellent wins away from home against Tottenham and Crystal Palace. They also drew against Liverpool at Goodison Park in the Merseyside Derby. They are going to need to produce more results like that to continue their push towards a top six finish.
Whatever the rest of the season holds for Everton, it is going to be an exciting campaign ahead. Managing expectations may prove the hardest thing to do though, as like all football fans, Everton would love to see their side do something special in the 2020/21 campaign.