All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from Goodison Park...
The fixture list for the 2014/15 Premier League season was released yesterday, with Everton facing a trip to newly promoted Leicester City on the opening day. The two sides will meet in a pre-season friendly as well, and Toffees legend Ian Snodin says that it could have been a lot worse - though facing the Foxes off the back of their promotion could be difficult.
"I’d rather have played Leicester after five or six games or so, not the opening game at their place," said Snodin. "The first game will be tough. There will be a full house and their players and crowd will be up for it."
"The teams that have come up from the Championship will be flying at first because all they remember is the winning mentality. But, if they don’t win two or three of those games they will become deflated, so I’d rather play those sides after about half-a-dozen games to be honest," he added.
"It’s a hard game for both teams though, and although Leicester will be looking forward to it, it’s a great chance for us to get off to a good start. It could have been a lot more difficult," concluded the 50-year-old.
Meanwhile, midfielder Ross Barkley is currently on international duty with England at the World Cup, and he made his debut against Italy on Saturday night as a second half substitute. He was matched up against Italian midfielders Daniele De Rossi and Andrea Pirlo, two of the world's best, and the Everton midfielder says the experience can only help him.
"It was a great experience, and I’ve never felt anything like that playing for England," Barkley said. "Coming on was a dream, and to do it in a World Cup against Italy, against the likes of De Rossi, Pirlo – it was a dream. It can only bode well for me in the future."
Manager Roberto Martinez will not only be hoping to keep hold of Barkley amidst interest from elsewhere, but also make additions to his side ahead of their Europa League campaign. It appears that Everton's interest in Barcelona winger Cristian Tello is growing, with Catalan press suggesting that the Toffees have now approached Barca over a loan deal for the winger - and it could go through after the success of Gerard Deulofeu on Merseyside.