Everton will have a greater cause for contentment now that the dust has settled on the weekend’s friendly derby draw at Anfield.
Not just because, according to the wisdom of the ancients, the home team must aggrieved for failing to bank three points either.
Unlike their rivals, the Toffees are under no illusions as to the issues they need to address, making them beguiling outsiders at 11/5 in a 2014/15 Premier League match bet with Liverpool.
Brendan Rodgers’ side remain 3/10 favourites to earn a second successive year of bragging rights over their Goodison Park bête-noires.
The draw on the red side of Stanley Park leaves both Merseyside clubs languishing below the top-flight equator, with Liverpool a point and a place above Everton in 13th.
However, Everton know that if they are to rediscover the seam of form they mined so productively last term once more, regaining their defensive chastity will have much to do with it.
With each and every member (Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin, Seamus Coleman and Tim Howard) of what has formed one of the Premier League’s most miserly rearguards in recent season still on the premises that shouldn’t be so tough.
Roberto Martinez’s men have also avoided depletion in their attacking ranks and proof that their system works in this respect is provided by the fact that only Chelsea have outscored them in the top flight this season.
The same cannot be said for Liverpool, for whom Rodgers is struggling to shape a cohesive and affective identity after the sale of Luis Suarez.
Suarez either scored or assisted 43 of their 101 league goals last term and his rabid brilliance mitigated the extent of any flaws in the system, almost to a title-winning extent.
Replacing him with several players of inferior quality has only brought with it new complications, such as the conundrum of which formation best suits the 2014/15 squad.
Meanwhile, the solutions to old problems, such as the defence and the contribution the out of position Steven Gerrard makes to it’s protection are no clearer.