This game represents the closest thing to a Europa League six-pointer, if such a thing exists. Both Everton and Wolves will want to be in the shakeup for Europa League qualification come May and both sides will want to lay down a marker after decidedly lukewarm starts to the season.
Wolves are slowly building a reputation as draw specialists after drawing their opening three games. Two credible draws away to Leicester and at home to United were followed by a draw at home to a Burnley side they would have expected to beat, which put a slight dampener on their promising early season form.
Wolves are also fresh from their European exertions and their impressive win over Torino, meaning that their energy may be found wanting.
Everton, meanwhile, have been insipid. A draw away to Crystal Palace was followed by an unconvincing win against a Watford side who have been awful and find themselves bottom of the league with no points. Everton’s most recent result was a meek defeat against Aston Villa.
It really has been an underwhelming start for the Toffees who would have surely wanted nine points from nine against such favourable opposition before a ball was kicked. It stands to reason that both sides will cancel each other out on Sunday.
Having scored one goal in three games, Everton aren’t exactly setting the world alight. New forwards are still adapting to life at Goodison Park and other strikers are showing real signs of rustiness after the summer. One of those strikers has been Richarlison.
The 22-year-old finished as Everton’s joint top scorer in the league last season but has failed to get off the mark this season. He did break his goal duck against Lincoln in the League Cup when he scored Everton’s fourth in a 4-2 win against the League One side before channelling his inner Lionel Messi and taking off his jersey and presenting it to the crowd.
You can’t blame him either, scoring a meaningless goal in a second-round League Cup game must mean about the same as scoring the winner in the last minute of El Clasico when the league title is on the line.
Regardless of Richarlison’s bizarre celebration, however, he has broken his duck and should be more confident in front of goal. Marco Silva seems to depend upon the Brazilian, having started him in every game, and he should be in line for another starting berth on Sunday after his goalscoring heroics midweek.
If anyone is to find the back of the net for Everton, Richarlison is the man to do it.
Both sides have curiously failed to create win corners this season, considering they have the cultured right feet of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Ruben Neves to deliver them. Everton average four corners a game from their opening three games while Wolves fare slightly worse than that.
Perhaps it is not that surprising though. Wolves tend to sit back and concede possession which obviously inhibits the amount of times they can win a corner, whereas Everton have proved to be toothless so far this season which has the same effect.
Besides, even though they both have players capable of a wicked delivery at their disposal, it’s not as if they can just select when exactly they want to take a corner kick. With that being said, it’s unlikely that Sunday’s game will breach the 10-corner mark.
A £/€1 Same Game Multi on these three selections returns £/€28.87 including stake on paddypower.com. Odds correct at time of posting, subject to change.