Evertonians are just a day away from knowing who they will face on the opening day of the 2019/20 Premier League season but just what is the Blues record like on the first weekend of the campaign?
Everton are of course both founder members and ever-presents of the Premier League since the top flight of English football was rebranded in 1992 so they have played in all 27 previous opening weekends of the Premier League.
The Blues are unbeaten in their last seven opening day fixtures – a run stretching back to their 1-0 home defeat to newly-promoted Queens Park Rangers in 2011 – but have still lost more games than they have won on the first weekend.
Their overall record is played 27, won 7, drawn 11 and lost 9.
Curiously Everton have played twice as many home games as away matches on opening day with a current 18-9 ratio.
The choice of venue seems to have had little overall impact on the nature of results though with the Blues home record being played 18, won 5, drawn 7 and lost 6 while away it is played 9, won 2, drawn 4 and lost 3.
Everton’s current seven-match unbeaten run on the opening day of the Premier League season is their longest in the competition’s history.
Their previous best was five – their first five from 1992-97 before they finally went down 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace at the start of Howard Kendall’s third spell in charge.
The Blues have never gone more than four opening day Premier League fixtures without a win but this is a sequence they have suffered on four separate occasions: 1997-2001; 2002-2006; 2008-2012 & 2013-2017.
Everton have never won an opening day fixture in the Premier League by more than two goals. The two occasions on which they did win by a two-goal margin were 2-0 wins away to Southampton in 1993 and at home to Newcastle United in 1996.
The Blues heaviest defeat on the opening day of a Premier League season was 6-1 at home to Arsenal in 2009 in what proved to be Joleon Lescott’s final appearance for the club before his move to Manchester City.
Other facts from Everton opening day fixtures in the Premier League include:
In the club’s first-ever Premier League game at home to Sheffield Wednesday in 1992, Barry Horne scored on his debut. The only other time he found the net came almost two years when he netted in the 3-2 win over Wimbledon on the final day of the 1993/94 campaign to ensure the Blues avoided relegation.
Everton’s 2-0 win at home to Newcastle United in 1996 was the Premier League’s all-time leading scorer Alan Shearer’s debut for the visitors following his then world record £15million transfer to his home city club from Blackburn Rovers.
John Collins saw Aston Villa’s Mark Bosnich save his penalty just seven minutes into his Everton debut on the opening day of the 1998/99 season in what proved to be a 0-0 draw. Walter Smith’s side would score just three goals at Goodison Park in their first 12 home matches of the season – before thrashing Middlesbrough 5-0 on February 17!
Everton’s last away win on the opening day was a come-from-behind 2-1 success over Charlton Athletic at the Valley in 2001 with Scottish pair Duncan Ferguson and David Weir netting.
Between 2008-2011, Everton lost four consecutive opening day fixtures – three were at Goodison Park; two were against Blackburn; one was the aforementioned 6-1 thrashing to Arsenal and the last was to QPR, their most recent opening day loss to date.
Everton ended their opening day losing streak in 2012 with what is to date their only Monday night fixture to begin the campaign. They defeated Manchester United 1-0, the club that both manager David Moyes and goalscorer Marouane Fellaini would join the following year.
Manager Roberto Martinez drew 2-2 in all three of his opening day fixtures as Everton manager (away at Norwich; away at Leicester; home to Watford).
In 2018 Richarlison became the first Everton player to score twice on his debut on the opening day of the Premier League season. Previous Blues to score on their debut on the opening day of the Premier League season were the aforementioned Barry Horne (1992); Gary Speed (1996); Andrew Johnson (2006) and Wayne Rooney (2017), although it was his second spell with the club.
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