Everton fans boarding the Eurostar to the Franco/Belgian border could be forgiven for packing ample alternative entertainments as their side visit Lille.
Last season’s Ligue 1 bronze medallists rose to prominence on the back of a no frills approach that saw 25 of their 38 outings limbo the 2.5 goals bar.
There has been no reinvention of the wheel in 2014/15, with the first 14 of their 16 contests across all competitions once more yielding less than three strikes.
Yet the wayfaring Toffees’ will have no need for their Gameboys and miniature chessboards thanks to their heroes’ ability to turn any game into a goal-fest by hook or by crook.
Eight of Everton’s 11 games this term have lined the pockets of over 2.5 goals backers and this Europa League tussle is a healthy 23/20 to follow suit.
Lille are floundering in a form trough ahead of the fixture that makes the 4/1 on Everton winning in a match that yields three goals or more an attractive wager too.
Rene Girard’s side have lost three of their last five outings, winning just twice in their last nine across all competitions.
Les Dogues have been hitting such bum notes that even their commitment to low-scoring football has begun to waver.
Having gone 14 games without an over-2.5-goal affair their last two tussles, defeats to Lyon and one-time Didier Drogba employers Guingamp, have both crossed the line into three-strike decadence.
Doubters that their latest clash will follow suit would rightly point to the fact that the Stade Pierre-Mauroy outfit have notched more than once on only three occasions all season.
Yet the generosity that has made Roberto Martinez’s rearguard the Premier League’s second most porous should ease their goal-getting woes.
Also the third-highest scorers in the English top flight and shut out just once all season, the Merseysiders will have the firepower to penetrate their hosts’ defences too.
Lille remain narrow 31/20 favourites for victory in Flanders, while Everton are 17/10 for the win and the draw is priced up at 9/4.