Everton will be the first opponents for Leicester City following their confirmation as Premier League champions.
The Foxes’ 1-1 draw at Manchester United proved enough to seal the deal after Tottenham Hotspur could only tie 2-2 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Their unfathomable achievement will be remembered as one of the greatest in sporting history, but with the potent cocktail of hangovers, recently-relaxed attitudes and the anticipation of lifting the trophy all to contend with ahead of the Toffees’ visit this weekend, victory is by no means a formality.
It’s probably why they’ve been attributed the relatively-large odds of even-money to beat Roberto Martinez’s men, who in turn can be backed at 27/10.
The results of Leicester’s predecessors to be anointed with matches to spare, however, indicate that both selections should be swerved in place of a punt on the draw at 23/10.
Just once this century has a team playing their first game after being confirmed as champions won by a margin greater than one goal.
This was Manchester United in the 2010/11 campaign, playing against a Blackpool side who completely abandoned the notion of defending as they fought against relegation. Even still, the Red Devils twice trailed the Tangerines before going on to win 4-2.
The previous two league winners this decade who still had fixtures to fulfil, Chelsea (14/15) and Man Utd (12/13), drew 1-1 with respective foes Liverpool and Arsenal.
In total, the 21st century has seen 12 teams win the Premier League prior to the final day. Five of these drew their first outing following their crowning, while six others recorded one-goal wins.
Were it not for an injury-time Claude Makelele winner for Chelsea in 04/05 (he scored a rebound from a dreadful penalty against Charlton), or a late Ruud van Nistelrooy spot-kick for United against Everton, the draw count would be much higher.
Either way, expect a tight game when the Toffees visit the King Power, with a stalemate or one-goal win (available to back at 7/5) the most likely outcomes.