To be played on Saturday 8th August 2015 at 15:00. Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool
Odds: Everton 8/11, Draw 29/10, Watford 9/2
The fixture list has not been the kindest to Roberto Martinez. Immediately after this opener against Watford, they face a succession of games against sides with ambitions of European qualification - making this a must-win contest on the opening day for his side.
After last season's disappointment, which saw them finish in the bottom half of the table, Everton will be eager to get off to a good start and try to recapture the form of the 2013/14 season, which yielded a record points total in the Premier League era.
For Watford, there have been so many changes throughout the summer, and as a result it's difficult to know what to expect from them, in terms of how they will set up and how they will perform.
Like any newly promoted side, their home form will be where they expect to get the lion's share of their points, but anything they can take on the road, especially early on, will give them tremendous confidence.
In terms of injuries, Martinez has a headache when it comes to his forward line, saying that Romelu Lukaku is a doubt - meaning Arouna Kone could be given the opportunity to lead the line. The key duo of John Stones and Kevin Mirallas are expected to be fit, however.
Watford have a couple of absentees from their squad, with Miguel Britos and Almen Abdi sidelined, while Joel Ekstrand continues his recovery from an ACL injury.
- Tim Howard
- Leighton Baines
- Seamus Coleman
- Phil Jagielka
- John Stones
- Ross Barkley
- Tom Cleverley
- James McCarthy
- Kevin Mirallas
- Romelu Lukaku
- Steven Naismith
“I don't consider Watford as a newly-promoted side, a dangerous team who will bring something different. The longer they work together, the better they become.”
- Heurelho Gomes
- Craig Cathcart
- Sebastian Prödl
- Daniel Pudil
- Valon Behrami
- Etienne Capoue
- Sean Murray
- Ben Watson
- Troy Deeney
“I have confidence in my players, they are an amazing group and I am happy with their work and they will improve with time. It is important they try and give their best for the first match on Saturday.”
John Stones ★ probable ankle
Romelu Lukaku ★★ questionable hamstring
Kevin Mirallas ★ probable ankle
Aiden McGeady ★★★ out hamstring
Tony Hibbert ★★★ out knock
Gerard Deulofeu ★★★ out hamstring
Steven Pienaar ★★★ out hamstring
Muhamed Besic ★★ questionable hamstring
Miguel Britos ★★ questionable muscular
Almen Abdi ★★ questionable knee
Joel Ekstrand ★★★ out ACL