EPL Fixtures: 7 Games That Could Make or Break Everton's Season

Jordan Lynn@@jordanlynn28Contributor IIIJune 19, 2012

EPL Fixtures: 7 Games That Could Make or Break Everton's Season

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    With the Premier League fixtures for the 2012-13 season currently being devoured by club fans unfulfilled by Euro 2012, several games will stand out to Everton fans.

    It is difficult to predict when Everton will need a timely victory, when a loss could prove to be a six pointer and when a draw is a great result, some games do seem more important just based on the fixture list.

    These aren't just the games against the toughest opposition, but they come at pivotal times of the season when, historically speaking, a win can mean so much and the games listed offer interesting storylines that could have an affect on the coming season.

    For an overview of all Everton's fixtures, check out Matt Cheetham's month-by-month guide here.

Vs Newcastle (H) Sept 9.

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    After a tough opening game against Manchester United at Goodison Park, Everton travel to Aston Villa before they face Newcastle at home.

    Last season, Newcastle were the surprise package of the Premier League, but Everton dismantled them in their last game of the 2011-12 campaign 3-1.

    This will be an evenly matched game between two teams looking for a European finish in 2013, so this game could prove vital by the end of the season.

    Both sides boast the form-strikers of last season in Everton's Nickica Jelavic and Newcastle's Papa Cisse, and these forwards will be key to the success of both sides next term.

    Following the Newcastle game, Everton have a month of winnable games, so a good result and performance against the Magpies could set Everton off on a run of early season form the Toffee's have been lacking for many seasons.

Vs Liverpool (H), Oct 27.

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    The picture speaks a thousand words.

    The only thing former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish could get right last year was his sides' performances against city rivals Everton, as the Reds won all three meetings between the sides.

    New manager Brendan Rodgers will look to emulate his predecessor as the Merseyside rivals first clash in October at Goodison Park.

    Having finished above Liverpool last season, Everton will look to maintain their status as the best club on Merseyside with a victory.

    Both teams have some easier fixtures in the run up to this game, so both could be in-form for one of the tastiest games of any Premier League season.

Vs Spurs (H), Dec 8.

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    This fixture makes the list for what might happen.

    With Everton manager David Moyes linked with the vacancy at Tottenham Hotspur, this would be his first game in charge of the opposition at Goodison Park.

    While Moyes and Everton have both stressed that they have not been contacted by the London club, Evertonians will not rest easy until someone else is confirmed as the new Spurs boss.

    An important December game even if Moyes stays put, this game will mean so much more if Goodison's favourite Scotsman is sitting on the opposition's bench.

Vs West Ham (A) Dec 22.

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    A newly promoted side may seem strange on a list of this kind, but the game away at West Ham United comes at a crucial point in the season.

    December looks like the most difficult month in the 2012-13 season for Everton as the most crowded month of the season features games against defending Premier League champions Manchester City and Champions League winners Chelsea.

    Add to this the importance of the festive season in broader terms, with 15 points up for grabs in a matter of weeks, and the West Ham game suddenly becomes vital.

    Sandwiched in between Stoke away and Wigan at home, these games could bring Everton some Christmas joy in an other wise humbug of a month.

    How West Ham acclimatise to the Premier League is still yet to be seen, but they've got the quality and experience to make the step-up.

    The last time Everton and West Ham met at Boleyn Ground, the game was also played in December and it ended 1-1.

    The return fixture also looks important as it comes at the end of the season, in between a Merseyside Derby and the last game of the season away at Chelsea.

    Results against West Ham could be important for Everton's European quest.

Vs Manchester City (H) Mar 16.

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    Everton's 1-0 home win against Champions Manchester City last season was memorable for a number of reasons.

    Firstly, and I still can't believe it, Everton beat champions Mancheter City 1-0 and were spurred on to a fantastic end of season run of form.

    Secondly, striker Nikica Jelavic first walked onto the Goodison turf as an Everton player, admittedly he just walked on and waved but he became so important to Everton's form at the end of last season.

    And finally, a protesting fan hand-cuffed himself to the post in the middle of the game!

    If this season's meeting is half as entertaining, this will be a must-watch affair.

    The boost that last season's win provided Everton proves how important a win over highly-favoured opposition can be, and if Everton can repeat the feat late on in the 2012-13 season, they could go on another fantastic season-ending run.

Vs Liverpool (A) May 4.

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    The second installment of the Battle for Merseyside takes place at Anfield very late in the season.

    Last season, this game would have been crucial in deciding who finished above who in the Premier League and the game could be as important next year.

    Ever optimistic Merseysiders will believe that this game could have a bearing on their side's European qualification, but even if the game is unimportant for league positioning, it will still mean so much to both sides.

    The fact that it does occur so late in the season, it is the first May Merseyside Derby since 1989, just adds more to an already must-watch fixture.

    As mentioned before, Moyes' Everton defeated Rodgers' Swansea twice last season but were beaten by Liverpool three times. Form goes out the window for Derby games.

Vs Chelsea (A) May 19.

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    If Everton's 2012-13 season all comes down to the last game, the Toffees will have their work cut out for them thanks.

    When looking at the form book, Stamford Bridge has not been an happy hunting ground for Everton in recent seasons.

    Everton seem to be able to grind out a draw, but a win at the Bridge is a difficult thing to come by, and Everton last took all three points from West London in 1991.

    Chelsea finished last season just one place above Everton in sixth place as the squeeze at the top pushed them out of the Champions League places, but their European place was secured through their miraculous Champions League triumph.

    The Everton faithful will have to hope that their clubs European position is secured by the time they make the journey down to the capital as Chelsea could be jostling for a Champions League place and would prove to be tough opposition.