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How well do Everton fare after an international break?

If only there was an international break every other week...

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It’s always an inconvenience. Yes, it’s meant to be an honour to play for your country and yes, it’s always an added bonus every other summer when there’s a football tournament on. But when time comes for an in-season international break, it feels as though you’re being cheated out of your weekly Everton fix.

But that’s not the only worry. There’s the possibility of injury to players – and if they’re good enough to showcase their stuff on the international stage, then changes are they’re an important part of the team. And if your team has built some momentum with a big win prior to a break, then it could well be a disruptive presence.

So just how well do Everton fare under Roberto Martinez following international breaks? The table below* reveals all. Fortunately it makes for better reading for fans of the Toffees than Calvin’s piece from last season on Everton’s form after Europa League outings.

Number of players on international duty

Following opponent (Home/Away)

Result

Date of match

13

Chelsea (H)

3-1

Sat, 12 Sep, 2015

12

Southampton (H)

1-0

Sat, 4 Apr, 2015

11

West Ham United (H)

2-1

Sat, 22 Nov, 2014

11

Aston Villa (H)

3-0

Sat, 18 Nov, 2014

13

West Brom (A)

0-2

Sat, 13 Sep, 2014

12

Arsenal (A) FA Cup

4-1

Sat, 8 Mar, 2014

15

Liverpool (H)

3-3

Sat, 23 Nov, 2013

16

Hull City (H)

2-1

Sat, 19 Oct, 2013

15

Chelsea (H)

1-0

Sat, 14 Sep, 2013

As you can see, Everton have been largely successful following international breaks under Roberto Martinez’s tutelage, with a 77.78% win percentage. The one outlier – a crushing 4-1 defeat in the FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal – may be viewed as an international hangover. But it is far more likely to be attributed to Everton’s typical inability to win big games, rather than any fatigue or pause of play.

Another interesting statistic is that in the Martinez era, Everton have never had fewer than 11 senior players selected for international duty (and as many as 16 back in October 2013) – which is as much of an endorsement for the quality of recent Everton squads as it is a concern for injury and tiredness.

But overall, the results are positive. In games following international breaks, Everton have won seven and averaged two goals per game, with only two games coming away from Goodison Park. The draw, which was in the derby against Liverpool, was another game in which the Blues really should have won – and would’ve done if it weren’t for a late, late Daniel Sturridge header.

So if Everton keep up appearances, then they may very well be in store for a fine outing at Goodison Park on Saturday week. Of course, it’s likely to be the most difficult post-international break game since the defeat to Arsenal. But for now, it’s a nice omen to keep in mind.

*International breaks considered are in-season and according to FIFA’s official international match calendar. The number of players is those included in matchday squads for senior teams. International under-21s were only included if they were part of Everton’s senior team at the time (i.e. John Stones and Luke Garbutt).