Arsenal face a daunting early-season trip to Goodison Park in their bid to maintain a 100 per cent Premier League record.
It’s one that will be all the more testing thanks to their midweek Champions League exertions in Turkey.
However, catching the Toffees now is cause for confidence given sophomore boss Roberto Martinez has long struggled for wins in the season’s opening paragraphs.
North London’s most regular visitors to European football’s top table shade 17/10 favouritism from their hosts, who are 7/4 for three points, while the draw is rated the 9/4 outsider in the match betting.
The Spaniard was unable to win more than single a match inside the opening four fixtures in any of the quartet of campaigns at the Wigan helm, losing eight of the 16 fixtures during that period.
It’s entirely fair to point out that, operating on a shoestring, the Latics were no world-beaters.
However, given the unlikely winning sprees he was able to inspire his troops to at other points on the calendar it’s a trend worth noting, especially as it’s an unhappy habit that’s followed him to Merseyside.
Even in the role at Swansea that made his name, Martinez’s penchant for getting a side to come to the boil as the season progressed was in evidence, with just two victories gleaned from their first eight league games.
With resources of a higher quality he might have been expected to fashion a more beguiling spring from the blocks at Goodison Park.
Yet Everton drew their opening trio of top-flight games under the Spaniard in 2013/14 and they weren’t exactly holding quality sides either.
Norwich, West Brom and Cardiff, who finished 18th, 17th and 20th last term respectively, were the spoil-sharing adversaries in question.