When the fixture computer composed its annual masterpiece in mid-June, Tottenham fans could console themselves with the fact that, even if they botched their first three games, at least they had slow-starting Everton at home in week four.
Spurs have played out their part in that scenario, losing 1-0 at Manchester United, drawing with Stoke and being forced to settle for a point against Leicester.
The worry now for Lilywhites supporters and staff alike is that Everton won’t deliver on their side of the deal. The Toffees have twice the point haul of the capital club and won their first away match 3-0 at fellow top-six hopefuls Southampton.
Roberto Martinez’s men have fired ten times across four fixtures in all competitions, while retaining the same charming defensive failings. Comically, conceding three at Barnsley wasn’t enough to stop the Spaniard from describing John Stones’ display as “incredible” and “exceptional”.
Still, odds of 3/1 on the Everton triumph carry far more appeal than 9/10 on the hosts or 5/2 on the draw, with the Everton and Draw double chance perhaps the most enticing offering on the entire punting landscape at 17/20.
Tottenham have terrible trouble performing at White Hart Lane in the opening months of a campaign. They had the opportunity to establish 2015/16 as an exception when leading Stoke 2-0 by half time a fortnight ago, but contrived to gift their guests two goals in the closing 13 minutes.
It brought back unwelcome memories of the previous two seasons’ summer-and-autumnal missteps. Last term, Spurs lost four of their initial six Premier League home dates, with a quartet of teams that would finish below them inflicting the ignominy: Liverpool, West Brom, Newcastle and Stoke.
That was arguably even worse than 2013/14, where the pre-Christmas Premier League defeat count in north London was a less emphatic three, yet the results were more wince-inducing, including a 3-0 flop against West Ham and a 5-0 schooling by Liverpool.
Blue-clad Merseysiders are just as capable of “educating” Tottenham too, judging by their record of a mere four reverses in nine at the venue, winning three.
If you expect class to be in session at Saturday teatime, the odds on an Everton victory in which the scourge of Southampton, Romelu Lukaku, adds to his four away goals already this month is set to be boosted from 5/1 to 7/1 from 8am on matchday.
Those who instead anticipate a Spurs return to form can benefit from the home win and Harry Kane to score combo being increased from 7/4 to 5/2.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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