Upcoming run of games critical for Everton season

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Jordan Pickford of Everton looks to clear the ball from a corner under pressure from Josh Brownhill of Burnley during the Premier League match between Burnley and Everton at Turf Moor on December 05, 2020 in Burnley, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Oli Scarff - Pool/Getty Images)
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Jordan Pickford of Everton looks to clear the ball from a corner under pressure from Josh Brownhill of Burnley during the Premier League match between Burnley and Everton at Turf Moor on December 05, 2020 in Burnley, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Oli Scarff - Pool/Getty Images) /
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Everton face a critical run of matches in December and January and the outcome of these games could decide whether this season is successful or not.

The upcoming set of fixtures Everton face are going to prove a potentially decisive set of games as the Toffees face Chelsea, Leicester City and Arsenal in successive Premier League matches this month and then Manchester United in the Carabao Cup.

The Blues season has come badly unstuck after a fine start, with four consecutive wins and a 100% record before the first international break, although the defence was leaking goals aplenty. Since then though they have managed just one win in the last seven games.

It’s actually possible that Everton might not get a single point from any of these three upcoming Premier League games if their current form is anything to go by.

This time of year has rarely been a good, successful period for the Blues historically and the club need to try and change that in these coming weeks.

It is unlikely the team will lose all three matches, as I think the Toffees will get at least one draw in these three games but beating any of those sides seems a real stretch given how average the team have been.

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After the United game, the Blues have a very winnable game at Sheffield United, at least on paper, and then three consecutive fixtures at Goodison Park as they take on Manchester City, West Ham United and then Rotherham in the FA Cup.

City and West Ham will be potentially difficult games, although Everton have a great record against the Hammers in the past.

Obviously if the Toffees haven’t managed to pick up more than a few points from those earlier games, they will definitely need points in these matches.

The other unknown is injuries. Everton have little luck with injuries and just in the past few weeks Lucas Digne and now Fabian Delph have picked up serious injuries. Who’d bet there won’t be more as these fixtures pile up.

The absence of players like Richarlison and James Rodriguez or Allan would be very serious as we’ve seen earlier this season.

There are six further matches in January and any more injury problems will further undermine how effective the Blues will be.

So this coming two months will be a deciding factor in how the campaign turns out for Everton. Will the team rediscover that exhilarating form of September and early October, or will it be more of the kind of mediocrity we’ve seen again recently?

A decent run in which the Blues can maybe pick up two or three wins and a draw say, and the season will be on track. If the opposite happens, the Toffees will be facing a long hard season and probably again a dismal mid-table finish at best.