Marco Silva is hopeful a tough pre-season can get his Everton side in optimum shape for the 2019-20 campaign.
The Blues began their summer schedule on Sunday when they took on Kariobangi Sharks in Nairobi, Kenya at the 60,000 capacity Kasarani Stadium, drawing 1-1 in a competitive game before losing on penalties.
The pre-season fixture list has been put together for the first time by Silva and Director of Football Marcel Brands and will include games against Swiss top-flight side FC Sion and French giants Monaco in Switzerland. That is followed by a clash at Wigan Athletic, a three-team mini tournament in Germany against Bundesliga club Mainz 05 and La Liga outfit Sevilla, before a trip to take on Werder Bremen.
Silva believes the challenging schedule will benefit him and his team going into their Premier League opener at Crystal Palace on Saturday 10 August.
“This summer’s pre-season fixtures will be different [from last year]”, said the Portuguese. “We will start with a pre-season I have planned. It’s completely different from the last one, we’ve prepared tough matches, a good tournament, too. I prefer to prepare my players for a tough pre-season with different type of games. It will be a good moment for us to take tough decisions, analyse and prepare together.
“A tough pre-season allows me to analyse the squad in a different way. When you play pre-season games against good teams in good stadiums the players will be tired but have good motivation. After it’s better for me to make decisions I have to make.
“We have still got players to come back. The most important thing will be when I have all of them available.”