After losing one home game they were expected to win, going one down against Sheffield United would have raised the tension levels in Goodison Park…
But in the end David Moyes was pleased with a dominant performance and rightly felt his side could have secured an even more comprehensive victory. Just the kind of boost needed ahead of a trip to Blackburn, especially given the immediacy of their response.
Rovers have their own 3-1 Carling Cup win over a side from Sheffield to improve confidence having started their season with two league defeats against sides they would have expected to get something from, certainly the home loss to Wolves. However, Steve Kean is working with a thin squad which is about to get a little thinner as he loses the experience of Brett Emerton following this game. David Moyes knows all about working with limited resources but with all players available, Everton have a stronger first eleven.
Although their starts to the season look almost identical, Evertonâ€™s overall performances have been better and with a near fully fit squad they go into this game as the 11/8 favourites. Fellaini look a little leggy against the Blades but the run out will have done him the world of good and he may start at Ewood Park. The same could be said of Mikel Arteta who will have benefited from the game time and getting his first goal of the season. If the Spaniard starts against Blackburn, his free-kick and penalty taking make him worth consideration for the first goal at 11/1.
This is likely to be a tough physical game, though not devoid of good play, and set-pieces could prove important. That brings the big boys in to play and a small bet on the likes of Jagielka at 25/1, Distin at 40/1 and Fellaini at 12/1 in to play in the first goalscorer market.
Over the last two seasons, Everton have won three of the four league meetings and though this is far from a given, they certainly have the players to make that four from five and put their first points of the season on the board. It wonâ€™t be easy but Rovers look vulnerable at the moment and Moyes will be looking to take advantage.