The momentum built from Cardiff’s sensational defeat of Manchester City can help turn up the pressure on notorious slow starter Roberto Martinez in his new job as Everton boss.
The 6/5 on the Bluebirds in the ‘draw no bet’ market, which gives punters the insurance of breaking even if the match is a draw, looks a wager dripping in value.
Everton, who have started the campaign with disappointing draws at Norwich City and at home to West Bromwich Albion, are 5/4 to record Martinez’s first win as manager while the hosts are available at 21/10.
In four years as Wigan manager, Martinez never picked up more than ten points in the first seven games of a new season.
Furthermore, in three of those campaigns his side only mustered five points or less when October came into view.
Martinez’s football philosophy is focused on controlled team shape and quick passing moves.
This takes time to develop, especially when inheriting a squad that played a more robust and direct style under David Moyes.
When it all clicks into gear Martinez’s teams are usually very hard to stop as they become a collective, machine-like unit.
But as Everton have showed in their opening two league matches, forming this unity and understanding of Martinez’s style is proving difficult to implement.
The Toffees have kept possession of the ball very well but have been timid in forward areas with Marouane Fellaini, Nikica Jelavic and Kevin Mirallas struggling to convert chances in the new system.
Everton have had 72 shots in their first three games in all competitions but have only fired 22 of them on target.
New boys Cardiff showed Manchester City last weekend that possession-focused sides are vulnerable to their ruthless and dynamic attacks.
Malky Mackay’s team beat City 3-2 despite having only 30% of the ball.
Everton, who have averaged 64.7% possession in their two league games, will likely head to south Wales with similar tactics and Cardiff will try and suffocate that style, as they did against City.