Premier League Stats Review: Resurgent Everton hold the aces against Sunderland

Roberto Martinez has got Everton back on top form since their Europa League exit
Roberto Martinez has got Everton back on top form since their Europa League exit
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Stats analyst Andrew Atherley says desperate Sunderland will struggle to take anything from Saturday's visit to a Goodison Park that is buzzing again...


"Even with all their difficulties, Everton have a W4 D1 L1 home record this season against the bottom seven teams and they have scored at least once in every one of those games."

Recommended Bet
Back Everton to beat Sunderland at 1.845/6

In recent weeks Everton have rediscovered the form that took them to fifth place last season and, although they have nothing left to play for, they rate a good chance at home to relegation battlers Sunderland on Saturday.

Roberto Martinez has had a difficult second season in charge at Goodison Park, having dropped uncomfortably close to the relegation zone in mid-season before climbing to the current position of 11th. That is significantly below what Everton fans have come to expect, but the recent upturn in form suggests Martinez has ridden out the storm and is steering a steady course once again.

The chief cause of Everton's problems was their participation in the stamina-sapping Europa League - and they are far from alone in finding that the combination of European ties on Thursday nights followed by Premier League weekend fixtures is a taxing burden.

It is surely no coincidence that Everton's Premier League record is W4 D1 L1 since their exit from the Europa League in March - that is a points average of 2.17 per game, compared with just 1.31 before that. By comparison, they averaged 1.89 points per game in the whole of last season, which indicates their true level is 1.8-plus without the burden of the Europa League (that is, they are a top-seven side in that case).

There is strong evidence that tiredness has been a major drag on Everton's performances this season. Their busiest period was from the last day of November to the first day of January, when they played nine games in the space of 33 days including Europa League ties and the hectic Christmas programme, and their record was a poor W1 D1 L7 in all competitions.

Compare that to the relatively light April they have just finished, when they had only four games and had a W3 D1 L0 record. The benefit of stepping off the treadmill has also been shown when Everton's players have come back after a break of 10 days or more from club competitions this season - in those circumstances, Everton have won all five games, which demonstrates that their underlying form remains strong when the fixture list is kinder to them.

Now that they are on the easier final stretch of the season, Everton have picked up their form and on paper they should be shorter than 1.845/6 against Sunderland. The doubt is whether they will be motivated enough now that they are sure of a safe mid-table finish, while Sunderland are fighting for every point at the bottom.

Everton were beaten 3-2 in similar circumstances last weekend at Aston Villa but the fact that they scored twice and kept the score close indicates that they hadn't given up. Two key differences on Saturday are that Everton are at home and Sunderland are a significantly weaker team than Villa.

Even with all their difficulties, Everton have a W4 D1 L1 home record this season against the bottom seven teams (that is, those still in the relegation dogfight) and they have scored at least once in every one of those games.

Given that Sunderland have scored nil or one in their last six away league games (losing three and drawing three), Everton's good scoring record (no blank in their last nine in all competitions) gives them a significant edge.


Recommended Bet
Back Everton to beat Sunderland at 1.845/6 (1pt)


2014/15 P/L

Staked: 75 pts
Returned: 77.65 pts
P/L: +2.65 pts

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