Trips to Stoke have proved about as much fun as, well, a trip to Stoke for Everton over the last four seasons, but with both sides’ long-held traits subtly shifting under new management the Toffees can claim a long-sought victory at the Britannia.
Since that 3-2 win Everton have been held to draws on three occasions and beaten once, failing to score twice and never notching more than a single goal.
Goings on were similarly austere when the sides met at Goodison Park and before the current campaign got under way their previous eight meetings had all yielded less than 2.5 goals.
However things change, gone is Tony Pulis and with him Stoke’s 100 per cent commitment to an intensely pragmatic modus operandi that foes including the Merseysiders found so hard to deal with.
In has come Mark Hughes, charged with making City more sexy, yet they’re five points worse off than they were at this point last year, with a goal difference some 15 strikes below their 2013 starting mark.
Stoke sit four spots further down the table than they did after 19 games in 2012/13 to boot and nothing highlighted their decline like the 4-0 hammering administered to them at Goodison.
Seamus Coleman struck the second that day and the Donegal dangerman is 8/1 to add his fourth goal in five games when his side visit the Potters.
That match highlighted the way in which Everton are becoming a more multifaceted proposition under their own new broom Roberto Martinez.
The Toffees are four points better off than they were after 19 games under David Moyes last term.
Meanwhile their own goal difference is four net-bulgers better than it was at this stage in 2012/13.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.