Life is tough for Evertonians at the moment. Bottom of the six-game form table. Four league defeats on the spin. 13th in the table, just four points clear of relegation. The second-worst home defence in the top flight. And they’ve just had to endure a week of fans, journalists and pundits gushing their hearts out and singing the praises of their arch-rival’s iconic captain.
Sometimes football is just a weekly dose of getting kicked in the plums.
But in the same breath, the sport often throws up glimmers of hope and the Toffees recent home form against title-chasing Manchester City does just that, as the sides prepare to go toe-to-toe at Goodison Park this Saturday.
[Handy hint: Click or tap on the image to make it bigger]
A hat-tip to Andrew McQuillan in the PP Design room for some more infographic wizardry
Despite their mediocre form at home this season (33 per cent win rate) Everton have a knack of picking up a result against Manchester City. In Premier League history they have lost just three of 17 games, boasting of an impressive 59 per cent win rate. And while it was marginally easier to pick up three points at home to Man City in the mid 90s with the club battling relegation, Everton have continued to pick up the wins despite City’s riches.
In fact the Toffees have won four of the last five home league games against City – with the only blemish being last season’s 3-2 loss, and even that game drew plenty of controversy as the visitors resorted to some blatant time-wasting during a nervy final 20 minutes.
Since Manchester City’s take-over in 2008 and the endless stream of cash that came with it, Everton actually have one of the best records at home to last year’s Champions. They have managed to maintain a 67 per cent win rate, while Manchester United (50 per cent), local rivals Liverpool (33 per cent) and Arsenal in particular (29 per cent) have crumbled.
So what for the game this Saturday? The Toffees have won just twice in the league since the end of October, while over the same period City have gone unbeaten and picked up 29 points from a possible 33. Unsurprisingly therefore City are 17/20 in the betting with the traders pricing Everton up as 16/5 shots.
Buck the trend or back the trend – that’s the predicament we’re stuck in.
Tentatively we might take a play on Everton or the draw on the double chance bet at 10/11, but it will take a significant improvement from Roberto Martinez’s men to continue their City dominance on Merseyside.