Champions Manchester United are massive odds at 7/1 to retain their title after picking up just seven points from their first six games of the season, but new manager David Moyes is canny enough to know that nobody wins the Premier League in September.
The Glasgow native will be glad of the respite a trip to the Ukraine provides, with his side 37/20 to make it two Champions League wins out of two under their new chief against Shakhtar Donetsk, but a boss as long in the tooth as Moyes is unlikely to lose any sleep over his new club’s dithering domestic form in light of recent history.
Everton were bottom at this stage of the season twice under Moyes
During his 11 full campaigns at Goodison Park Everton finished in the top six five times and only missed out on the top half on two occasions despite crippling budgetary constraints and a series of terrible starts to seasons.
The Toffees only managed to break into double figures after six matches on four occasions, picked up seven points or less in five of those six-game starts and were rooted to the bottom of the table, with just three points achieved, twice.
Since 2002 half of United’s title triumphs have been come from behind victories
During Moyes’ decade and a bit on Merseyside United won the Premier League six times, but three of those triumphs came after a team other than the Red Devils were top of the pile going into the new year.
In 2002/03 the Old Trafford club reeled in then champions Arsenal after the Gunners were five points ahead at the end of December, with Fergie’s charges finishing five points clear at the top in May.
Losses at Liverpool and Man City were hardly massive shocks
United’s defeat against West Brom at Old Trafford will be used as evidence that the champions are in terminal decline, but their other reverses this season don’t back up this theory.
City inflicted an even worse defeat on their red rivals two seasons ago and that 6-1 mauling was at Old Trafford, while their last seven visits to Anfield have seen United win once, draw once and lose five times.