Evertonians could have been forgiven pining for the defensively-minded days of David Moyes during the opening five Premier League games of 2014/15.
By the time the dust had settled on their Goodison Park defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace they had conceded 20 times, more than half the goals-against total for the previous campaign.
Luckily they’ve stopped the rot of late (even with the regular inclusion of Antolin Alcaraz) conceding just once in their last four games and a immoveable rearguard will give them an excellent chance of downing Lille on Merseyside this evening to land odds of 18/25.
Les Dogues are in distinctly sickly form both domestically and continentally, having won once in their last ten outings and a lengthy 15/4 assessment about their chances of victory looks justified, likewise the elongated 13/5 on them holding the Toffees as they had done in Flanders two weeks ago.
An utter dearth of goals is at the root of that wretched run, which has seen the French side notch just five times.
Roadtrips have provided little in the way of redemption in this regard either with a Divock Origi penalty against Wolfsburg the sole opportunity for celebration Rene Girard’s men have fashioned across their last four away games.
Lille’s attacking incompetence makes the Everton win to nil seem an agreeable way to bolster home win bets to 31/20 against a team that’s averaged just a modicum over two shots on target per away game in Ligue 1 this season.
The visitors will also be without Marcos Lopes and Jonathan Delaplace for their Thursday night foray, a factor which is only set to limit them further.
Both men are rank alongside Origi in Les Dogues’ top three players for average shots on goal per game, while Lopes also leads the side for average key passes an outing.