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Everton: Fixture list benefits Frank

Frank Lampard has a tough job on his hands at Goodison Park but his first five games offer hope of getting Everton back on a positive path.

The appointment of former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez over the summer always seemed destined to end in tears and he was sent packing after losing 2-1 to Norwich on 15th January.

Duncan Ferguson was unable to get Everton back to winning ways when he stepped in as caretaker boss for the visit of Aston Villa on 22nd January, going down 1-0.

Everton, who are 9/2 to be relegated, subsequently sit 16th after that loss to Villa, four points clear of the relegation zone and with just one win in their last 14 league outings.

With that in mind, Lampard must hit the ground running on Merseyside and he's got a decent run of fixtures to try and turn the tide.

Lampard looking to work his magic in the cup

Everton's next outing comes on 5th February when they take on Premier League rivals Brentford in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The Toffees can be backed at 21/20 to come out on top against 13/5 Brentford at Goodison Park, while the draw is available at 23/10.

Lampard won the FA Cup four times as a player with Chelsea and he knows how valuable a run could be in terms of building momentum.

PositionTeamPlayedPoints
14thBrentford2323
15thLeeds2122
16thEverton2019
17thNorwich2216
18thNewcastle2115
19thWatford2014
20thBurnley1812

There is an argument that exiting the competition might be beneficial to allow Everton to focus solely on the league. However, starting with a win would help to raise confidence levels and give Lampard a platform to build from.

Brentford ran out 1-0 winners when hosting Everton in the Premier League in November courtesy of an Ivan Toney penalty, while they also beat the Merseysiders on penalties in the third round of the EFL Cup in 2010.

Relegation rivals up first in the league

It's often said there are no easy games in the Premier League but Lampard will certainly be pleased to see relegation rivals Newcastle and Leeds first on the agenda rather than taking on the big boys in the division.

Everton's first league game under the former Chelsea and Derby boss comes in the shape of a trip to the north east to face Newcastle on 8th February.

Newcastle are 6/4 to pick up all three points against 17/10 Everton and the draw is 12/5.

The Magpies are 18th and four points adrift of the Merseysiders, although the Toffees have a game in hand, and they are starting to build momentum of their own.

Some fresh faces and the appointment of Eddie Howe has them moving in the right direction and they welcome Everton to St James' unbeaten in three.

Everton lost both meetings last season and their away form this campaign is something Lampard will need to address sooner rather than later.

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They've picked up just six points from 10 outings on the road in 2021/22, fewer than half of the 13 they've sealed at home, and a trip to Newcastle, who have only won once at home this term, could be the perfect opportunity to pick up a much-needed win.

That Tuesday engagement is swiftly followed by a home clash against 15th-placed Leeds four days later. Leeds are one place and three points better off than Everton but they have played one extra game.

A home win is available at 5/4 with Leeds priced at 2/1 and the draw 5/2.

Making Goodison Park a fortress will be essential for Lampard if he is to guide the club clear and away from the relegation zone.

Tricky end to the month

Lampard will have his sights set on the maximum six points from their opening two league games but building further on that could prove difficult.

A trip to Southampton on 19th February will put his troops to the test ahead of rounding off his first five games when league leaders Manchester City visit on 26th February.

Southampton have only lost once on their own patch this campaign and they held City to a draw on 22nd January to further bolster their credentials at home.

St Mary's hasn't been a happy hunting ground for Everton over recent years either, losing four of their last five visits.

There's not a huge amount to say about the home meeting with City and that encounter is almost a free hit for Lampard.

City have won their last five visits to Goodison Park, scoring 13 goals and conceding just three.

Lampard will hope to have enough faith in the bag from his previous four assignments to avoid any backlash if they do come away on the wrong side of a heavy scoreline.

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