Despite coming perilously close on more than one occasion, Everton have never been relegated from the Premier League.
Given the vast amount of sides currently in the survival skirmish at the top-tier’s bottom end, the prospect of the Toffees’ proud run ending this season is a difficult one to entertain.
However, with just one win in 13 top-tier outings, few teams are playing as badly as Roberto Martinez’s men right now and, as a direct consequence of this dreary form, the club find themselves just four points adrift of the drop zone.
Having come so close to landing a coveted top-four finish last term, this situation must be desperately disappointing for all involved with Everton and now, to compound their awful on-pitch performances, they’ve decided to shed several squad players from their roster.
Ancillary striker Samuel Eto’o has left to join Sampdoria, leaving only Arouna Kone to compete with Romelu Lukau for a starting spot up front.
Now speculation is intensifying surrounding the future South African conjurer Steven Pienaar, who is a target for former boss David Moyes at Real Sociedad.
Diminishing their depth in the final third at such a crucial stage of the campaign represents a risky strategy and one that makes the enormous 28/1 about the Toffees going down this term appreciate in value.
Whether the pair leave or not, such an eventuality is unlikely to happen, but it will make their top-half finish aspirations much tougher to realise and failure to sign off the season in amongst the nation’s elite ten teams must represent something of a disaster.
Following Kevin Mirallas’ much-discussed penalty misdemeanours and subsequent half-time substitution against West Brom last time out, his future at Goodison Park is far from secured long-term.
Similarly, there has been plenty of transfer speculation surrounding an exit for playmaker James McCarthy.
Both have been linked with Tottenham in recent days.
Should these two follow the aforementioned outbound duo’s lead, which is far from impossible, that would leave Everton just four permanently registered attacking midfielders.
For a team that plays a system that typically sees three players deployed in this position, these numbers are insufficient to ensure they remain competitive domestically and in Europe.
A worsening of their current plight squad-wise is guaranteed to see their relegation odds slimmed, which is why their gargantuan present price is one worth entertaining.
Everton are 7/5 to record a much-craved win over Crystal Palace when Premier League action resumes.