Everton start their season after an unsatisfactory summer which has seen the last-minute sale of key defender John Stones with question marks remaining over whether star striker Romelu Lukaku will still be at Goodison Park by the end of the month. Idrissa Gueye represents the only significant outfield summer arrival at the Toffees, ensuring new boss Ronald Koeman faces a frantic final few weeks of the transfer window.
In contrast, Tottenham Hotspur represents stability and calmness. Having made such impressive progress last season under Mauricio Pochettino, many of the club’s doubters were silenced as a vibrant side were outshone only by sensational champions Leicester. It has been a quietly efficient summer at White Hart Lane, with Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama adding further steel to the midfield and £17 million striker Vincent Janssen adding further firepower upfront.
Both fixtures between the clubs last season were tense and tight stalemates, with an early season clash ending goalless before an entertaining 1-1 return match at Goodison Park after New Year. Everton have failed to beat Spurs in each of their last five meetings, with those two draws being preceded by three one-goal victories for the North London side.
With the head-to-head history in mind, the 12/5 offered on an opening day draw by BoyleSports, Marathon Bet and Matchbook appear to offer good value, especially as Everton’s home advantage cancels out Spurs’ superiority in terms of quality.
Last season’s Premier League top goalscorer Harry Kane will no doubt be keen to bounce back from a disappointing European Championships, while Lukaku – who netted 18 league goals last year – should be involved and keen to prove a point, despite the rumours of a possible exit. 10Bet offer odds of 10/11 on both teams finding the back of the net throughout the game.
However with Koeman keen to consolidate Everton defensively (they shipped 55 league goals under Roberto Martinez last season) and possible first-day Spurs caution could mean a game of few goals, as seen in last year’s August encounter. Paddy Power offer odds of 11/10 of at least one side failing to get off the mark on the score sheet, while it’s worth remembering that Spurs conceded the league’s joint lowest number of goals last time out (35). Paddy Power also offers the best odds on Kane – scorer of 25 league goals last season – scoring anytime, while alongside Sky Bet and Bet Stars, they also offer 15/8 on Lukaku finding the back of the net.