Everton’s matches over the holiday period were largely a success. Seven points out of nine is a haul nearly any Everton supporter would have taken before Boxing Day, even with an unconvincing performance against Leicester City and a draw against Hull City along the way.
With those points, the Toffees cemented their spot as the Premier League’s “best of the rest” — not a bad place to be in something of a rebuilding year.
The need for Everton to rebuild its attacking depth has been well-documented, but after last week, our writers’ egos need to be built back up even more!
Your favorite group of bloggers made predictions for all three Christmas period matches before Boxing Day, and the results were...well...let’s just take a look at them and let them speak for themselves. Here’s our predictions, with correct responses in bold.
Your eyes don’t deceive you — in four categories over three matches, we collectively got seven predictions right. If you want to quantify the futility, consider this: we had our ten writers each make 12 predictions for the combined three matches — the seven correct answers mean that as a whole we got 5.8% of our guesses right!
To an extent, were undermined by Everton’s success in the Leicester City and Southampton matches, as well as the team’s failure to find victory against Hull City. The big losses came in the other three categories though; not a single writer picked the correct opening goalscorer (Kevin Mirallas, Michael Dawson, Enner Valencia), Everton man of the match as voted by RBM readers (Joel Robles, Tom Davies, Enner Valencia), or final score (2-0, 2-2, 3-0) for any of the matches!
In fairness to us, there were plenty of surprises in these three matches, but the results are still underwhelming at best.
That’s left us with a writer prediction league table that is pretty similar to the one we saw last week.
Calvin and Sean remain tied for the lead, with Tyler the closest behind. There’s a bit of a logjam at the middle of the table, with the next five of us within five points of the lead, before Scott and Matt bring up the bottom of the table.
This week, we get the unenviable task of trying to predict an FA Cup match. These tend to be tough, as you never quite know what team selection will look like and who will take the competition seriously.
Our picks are as follows:
Six of eight participating writers have picked Everton to move on in the FA Cup, while Matt foresees failure and Brian is predicting a replay.
Romelu Lukaku and Enner Valencia both feature prominently in our opening goalscorer and man-of-the-match predictions — but only time will tell if Ronald Koeman sticks with the lineup that worked for the final half hour of Monday’s match against Southampton.