Everton's tough fixture list could be a blessing in disguise

General view inside the stadium before the match - Goodison Park

The Toffees will face Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur in their opening matches.

Everton's Ross Barkley looks dejectedEverton's Ross Barkley looks dejected

Unless you're from the red half of Liverpool, you'd be hard pressed not to spare a thought for Everton fans after the Premier League fixtures were announced, which wasn't exactly preferable for the Toffees to say the least.

After weeks of looking forward to the date when the fixtures were announced, Everton's first six fixtures read something from a footballing horror movie, with only two fixtures out of those six that would be seen as winnable matches.

Everton manager Ronald KoemanEverton manager Ronald Koeman

While Everton kick off the season at home to Stoke City, they then face away trips to Manchester City and then champions Chelsea, a home tie against Tottenham Hotspur, an away day at Manchester United and then a home fixture against Bournemouth.

The saying 'there are no easy games' couldn't be more applicable, with only the home ties against Stoke and Bournemouth seen as matches the Toffees should win, but while Everton will be expected to struggle, having a run of this nature so early on could actually be a good thing towards the business end of the 2017/18 season.

Everton's Kevin Mirallas in action with Watford's Valon Behrami as Watford's Troy Deeney looks onEverton's Kevin Mirallas in action with Watford's Valon Behrami as Watford's Troy Deeney looks on

To get matches of those nature out the way early is a good thing, and Everton can actually take advantage of the fact some of those teams - especially City - will be in a transition mode to accommodate their new signings, while focusing on catching up with the teams ahead of them afterwards.

Towards the end of the campaign where every point is crucial, teams around Everton will go to face these clubs and the Tofees should have an easier ride as a result. It may be a rough few weeks for Everton and their fans to being the campaign, but in the long term, it could well be worth it.

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez in action with Everton's Phil JagielkaArsenal's Alexis Sanchez in action with Everton's Phil Jagielka

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