Despite losing just once in ten fixtures since the end of September, having previously battered Europa League Group H rivals Wolfsburg 4-1 at Goodison Park, Everton can still be backed at meaty 3/1 odds to beat the Bundesliga side on the road.
The hosts are available at an industry-best 4/5 with bwin.com, which looks a fair bet on the face of it as Dieter Hecking’s outfit last lost on their own patch all the way back in early March and have won seven of their past eight all told at Volkswagen Arena.
However, that form doesn’t stand up to the intense scrutiny of the news.bwin.com/en/ microscope, especially with Roberto Martinez’s tip-top Toffees in town.
Two of Wolfsburg’s seven home victories since mid-September have come against Hamburg and Werder Bremen, each of whom are struggling to escape the Bundesliga’s nether regions, while wins over sixth-place Augsburg and ninth-place Mainz hardly set the heather alight.
Krasnodar were soundly thrashed 5-1 in Die Wolf’s last Europa League match in front of the faithful, but that can’t be seen as too much of an achievement considering this is the 2008-founded Russian club’s first season in the tournament.
Nothing can be read into Hecking’s men’s 4-1 win over 2.Bundesliga team Heidenheim in the DFB-Pokal Cup, and drawing 1-1 at home to Lille in Group H looks a pretty patchy result in relation to Everton’s 3-0 lording of Les Dogues at Goodison early this month.
Martinez’s Merseyside Blues have won three of their past five fixtures, including on the road against Burnley.
Their November draws came at home to a Swansea side bravely clinging on to their Premier League top-eight status, and away to a Sunderland outfit that has lost just two of their past seven fixtures.
All that being said, the key piece of form to concentrate on in this game is the fact that Everton were 4-0 up and cruising against Wolfsburg at home with a minute left to play, before switching off for long enough to let full-back Ricardo Rodriguez sully their clean sheet.
Expect them to be even more ruthless in Germany.