"Last time we got off to a good start we qualified for the Champions League — so we have to do that again if we can.” - That was David Moyes speaking after last weekend's Swansea win, and a 3-1 victory over Southampton on Saturday will have done little to dissuade him that his team are in with a chance.
So we reach October with Everton having hit almost the perfect note in their start to the season, usually their weakness. Their only dropped points came in a loss at West Brom, and a frustrating draw against Newcastle.
The big event this month for the Toffees is the mouth-watering derby when they welcome Liverpool to Goodison Park.
With Everton in fine form, signs are that Liverpool are galvanising too, with successive domestic wins over West Brom and Norwich, and scoring five goals twice in the last four matches, past the Canaries, and against Young Boys in the Europa League.
Moyes has indicated he won't pay too much attention to the league table until November, when it starts to take shape. Well Everton have every chance of reaching October 28th, the derby date, occupying a Champions League spot in the top four. In fact there is no reason why they should not believe they can top of the table.
You see an international break in October means there are just two rounds of Premier League matches before the derby weekend.
Everton are currently a point above both Manchester clubs, and the London duo of Arsenal and Tottenham. If the Toffees win their games then they won't be overtaken.
Who do they play next? Everton travel to Wigan, who have lost their last three league games in succession. The last time the two sides met at the DW it ended a 1-1 draw in February, with Anichebe scoring for the visitors, but given the contrasting form of the two sides, Everton will be disappointed with anything less than maximum points next weekend.
Then comes the international break, and after that another away game, but against struggling QPR. A match which again ended 1-1 last season, but the message is the same here, David Moyes will expect his side to pick up all three points. Can they? It's new territory for the Toffees in a way, going in as overwhelming favourites dictated by their league position, but they have to learn to cope with such pressure.
If they can get six points from those fixtures it will put them in a great position. Certainly remaining in second, but what about first?
Chelsea are two points ahead at present, and will fancy their chances of mauling Norwich at Stamford Bridge next week. However their following game is away to a rejuvenated Tottenham side, where AVB will certainly have a point to prove and extra motivation to see his side win out.
If Chelsea lose that match, and Everton have won their previous two, the Toffees could leapfrog them in the table on goal difference. Currently the margin is just two goals, which could easily swing in their direction if there is a defeat for Chelsea.
The Merseyside Derby will be their next challenge, even though they finished ahead of Liverpool in the league last year, they lost to the Reds three times, including the FA Cup semi-final, and there is a real desire among supporters to see them exact retribution on the pitch for those defeats.
Perhaps we are looking too far ahead, away from the take one game as it comes, and winning on the road is never easy, and they will have to rely on another result, but the prospects of Everton topping the table when the game comes around is very possible, and we're going to stick our neck out and say it can happen.
Beyond that, let's just wait and see...
Do you agree with our prediction? Can Everton arrive at the derby in first place?
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image: © Ben Sutherland