Last week and this week, however, things are a little less intriguing, with home matches against inferior opposition on the fixture list. Last week, Tony Pulis and West Bromwich Albion visited Goodison Park, presenting a well-organized, but unexciting brand of football. This week it is much of the same, with Hull City visiting Goodison Park, likely with even less exciting and more defensive football on the docket.
Our predictions for the West Brom match were pretty uniform — though not exceedingly successful. Those picks, with correct guesses in bold, are below.
Everyone correctly predicted that Everton would win, but no one foresaw the 3-0 drubbing the Toffees laid on the Baggies. Three correctly guessed that RBM readers would vote Ross Barkley as Everton’s man of the match.
No additional points were earned on the opening goalscorer, as most of our writers may not have guessed Kevin Mirallas would start, much less open the scoring!
As a result, no writer particularly distinguished himself last week, and the prediction league table is largely unchanged.
This week, Hull City visits Goodison Park in better form than you might suspect. Since 2017 began, the Tigers have beaten Bournemouth, Liverpool, and Swansea and drawn Manchester United and Burnley — not to mention their close encounter with Manchester United in the League Cup semifinals, which they lost 3-2 on aggregate.
This appears to have left our writers largely unshaken though, as they believe Everton’s superior form will carry the the club to victory (almost unanimously).
Only Matt believes that Everton will stumble in this match — he predicts a 2-2 draw for the Toffees. Everyone else has Everton beating Hull, seven of whom believe it will be a multi-goal victory.
There appears to be no concern related to the impact of the contract talks of Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley — the young duo secured 10 of 11 opening goalscorer votes and 6 of 11 Everton man of the match votes. Calvin was the lone dissenter in the opener category, predicting a Kevin Mirallas opener at Goodison Park.
Morgan Schneiderlin, Seamus Coleman, and Idrissa Gueye also secured man of the match votes for Saturday’s match.