After two contrasting seasons in the Goodison Park hot seat, Roberto Martinez is under some pressure from Toffees fans to make a strong start this time out, and a home game against a newly-promoted side seems an ideal way to begin the season.
Everton have had a relatively quiet summer on the transfer front, with the return to the club of winger Gerard Deolofeu causing the most excitement amongst the fans. The Spaniard is struggling to be fit for Saturday, however, due to a hamstring injury.
Fellow wingers Aiden McGeady and Steven Pienaar will definitely miss the match with hamstring injuries of their own, as will holding midfielder Mo Besic. Martinez is hopeful that Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas and Chelsea target John Stones will all recover from minor knocks to play their part in the opening fixture.
Watford have set about their return to the Premier League after an eight-year absence by embarking on a spree of signings, most notably Etienne Capoue from Tottenham for £6m, and full-back Jose Holebas from Roma.
New winger Steven Burghuis and one of the stars of last season Almen Abdi are doubts for the game, meaning there could be debuts in the engine room for the aforementioned Capoue and ex-West Ham midfielder Valon Behrami.
Last Meeting: Watford 0-3 Everton, February 24, 2007
Key Men: Everton – Ross Barkley; Watford – Troy Deeney
Shoot says: Everton 1-0 Watford