Everton faced its toughest test of 2017 last week, when the club lost a 3-2 thriller to Tottenham Hotspur. Matches against top clubs like Spurs have been challenging for our writers to predict this season — but a complete change of pace awaits in the next two weeks.
The Toffees now face mid-table West Bromwich Albion and relegation-threatened Hull City, both at Goodison Park, before the March FIFA fixture break.
Before we look ahead to the first of those matches though, let’s take one last look at the Spurs match. Our predictions for that match were as follows, with correct guesses in bold.
Five writers correctly predicted a Spurs victory, though none foresaw the wacky 3-2 final scoreline (Brian L. and Calvin surely silently cursed when Enner Valencia scored to cut the deficit late though!). Two writers correctly guessed Harry Kane would score first, and Brian F. was the only writer to correctly pick Ross Barkley as Everton’s man of the match.
With the points earned this week being largely feast or famine, we’ve had an interesting development in the writer prediction league table.
Calvin jumped over Tyler to secure the top spot once again, while I closed the gap on the top two. For the first time this year, we’ve got a very clearly defined upper echelon in the prediction league, with the top three a full six points ahead of the pack.
Six points is the maximum number of points a writer can earn in one week, so this is far from over — but nobody has actually amassed all six available points from a match all season!
Even if one of the middle pack picks up six points this week when Everton plays West Brom, it won’t be enough to catch the top three, as the picks are too similar this week for any real movement to occur.
Every writer is predicting an Everton victory (which historically hasn’t been a great sign for the Toffees, for what it’s worth). Five writers picked a 2-1 victory, Brian F. picked a 3-1 victory, and all others have their money on either 1-0 or 2-0.
Eight (!) of 11 writers picked Romelu Lukaku to get the opener for Everton. Only Chris believes that a West Brom player will score the opener. Morgan Schneiderlin, Idrissa Gueye, and Ross Barkley are the most popular man of the match picks.