It’s an old football cliché but for some teams the international fortnight’s pause in Premier League hostilities can arrive at just the wrong moment, with the conventional logic that strong form dissipates in the extended break between matches.
However, there are others such as Tottenham, 4/1 to beat Manchester City at the Etihad on their return to domestic action, who return to the fray with their best feet firmly forward.
Spurs have banished pre-break defeats with wins on their return to league action twice this term.
Andre Villas-Boas’ side are the sole Premier League team to manage a feat of bouncebackability which suggests that Man City should extra wary of the threat they pose.
All three of the Lilywhites’ defeats this term have come in the games before their cosmopolitan squad disperse to the four corners of the globe and the two that preceded their loss to Newcastle were followed up by 2-0 victories – a correct score which could be backed at odds of 25/1 against City.
The Gunners and Everton have bagged maximum points after both 2013/14 international sojourns.
Aside from Spurs and their admirable powers of recuperation Arsenal and Everton are the only other Premier League team to pick up three points after the last two Premier League hiatuses.
While the Gunners had been in strong form before the break on both occasions Everton turned brooding over a home draw against Cardiff and a loss to Man City into victories against Chelsea and Hull City.
The Toffees are 17/10 to use the bitter memories of their listless 0-0 draw against basement boys Crystal Palace to fire them to a first victory over Liverpool since 2010.
Fulham have come bouncing back from the internationals with positive results twice this term.
It hasn’t exactly been a barrel of laughs for the west London outfit so far this season, but after their latest spanking at the hands of Liverpool Cottagers partisans will be pleased to know the international break has proved a shot in the arm for their side both times it’s reared its head in 2013/14.
Martin Jol’s men came within seconds of victory over West Brom in September before running riot at Selhurst Park in October and they’re 11/5 to rise above the relegation-zone blues by beating Swansea next time out.