Wednesday July 29
After finishing 5th the prior year and qualifying for the Europa League, the 2014-15 season was step back for Everton F.C. and second-year manager Roberto Martinez. The Toffees finished 11th in the table, with fatigue and lack of depth becoming major issues as the campaign wore on; Everton played a grueling schedule with over 50 matches last season between the EPL, FA Cup, League Cup, and Europa League. With European soccer no longer in the equation this season, Martinez looks to challenge for a top-six finish once again, and he will do so with several familiar faces; many of the same players that were a part of the 5th place finish during the 2013-14 season are still on the team today.
From a fantasy perspective, Everton have an incredibly difficult stretch to start the season, with 8 of their first 10 matches coming against teams that finished in the top 10 last season. Once November rolls around, though, the fixtures become much more favorable for the Toffees - if Everton are able survive the opening stretch and emerge from it as a stronger team, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the EPL, both from a real-life and fantasy perspective.
Nickname: The Toffees / The Blues
Manager: Roberto Martinez
2014-15 Finish: 11th (47 points, 12-15-11 record)