Everton’s Europa League adventure is over after a comprehensive beating from Dinamo Kiev, but conventional wisdom would suggest that their league form should now improve.
The second tier continental competition has been regarded as a domestic-form millstone since it switched to a Champions League-style format in 2009/10.
But to what extent does this assumption bear itself out in actual results? Exceptionally well actually.
Since the new-look tournament’s inaugural edition, three Premier League sides have exited at the round-of-16 stage and each has gone on to find a fine run or post-Europe form in that season’s remaining fixtures.
Last season Tottenham were eliminated by Benfica 5-3 on aggregate before going on to win five of their last eight outings, drawing another amid of flurry of Tim Sherwood inspired goals.
They scored three goals or more in each of the matches in which they avoided defeat.
Prior 2013/14 no English sides were bounced at the stage where Everton met their makers having contested the group stage since 2010/11, when both Manchester City and Liverpool were eliminated.
The Citizens were victorious in eight of their remaining 11 fixtures, claiming Champions League qualification and lifting the FA Cup under Roberto Mancini.
At the same time, Liverpool went on to triumph in five of seven matches that directly followed their elimination at the hands of Braga, only definitively losing out on the race for fifth when losing to Spurs in the season’s penultimate game.
Currently two wins north of the relegation mire, history suggests the Toffees should be able to put together a decent run to claw back the kind of league position to which they’d become accustomed under David Moyes.
They have nine games remaining in order to do so, with five of them coming at Goodison Park, where they’ve not lost in eight outings, winning the last three.
Next up is an away trip to a QPR side that looked more all at sea than they have all season against Crystal Palace last time out – Everton are 6/5 favourites to triumph.
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