Tribalism in football can cause fans to do strange things.
As Everton prepare to take on Man City on Wednesday night, the main topic of discussion is instead about local rivals Liverpool.
A Toffees win would ease the pressure on underfire Marco Silva, yet simultaneously boost their noisy neighbours’ chances of a first ever Premier League title.
For some Everton supporters, just the thought is enough to send shivers down the spine.
But we’ve been here before, haven’t we?
When Everton and City met in May 2014 the circumstances were even more compelling than modern day.
Just a point for the home side would have handed Liverpool the advantage in the title race with just two games remaining.
And after Ross Barkley’s sumptuous opener it appeared the Reds may be gaining a favour from the unlikeliest of sources.
Then the atmosphere switched. You could hear a pin drop.
The Goodison faithful suddenly seemed to come to terms with the consequences of the pending result.
Was a short-term triumph really worth the months, even years, of gloating from their red neighbours?
Despite Roberto Martinez’s side still pursuing an unlikely Champions League place, there was a real sense of unease in the terraces.
Tim Howard then neglected the basics of goalkeeping as Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko swiftly turned the game on its head before half-time.
There were even reports of Everton supporters celebrating City’s lead in the Gwladys Street End during the break.
The visitors would eventually wrap up a 3-2 victory and, with only Aston Villa and West Ham at home to come, the title was effectively theirs.
Barkley’s sizzling goal could have been the springboard for a famous win that kept their European dream alive, but instead it was met with an aura of uncertainty.
What did the fans really cherish more? What was more satisfying? A famous win for their own team, or prolonged suffering for their rivals?
Fast forward to 2019 and there’s a very real sense of déjà vu.
Despite their season threatening to spiral dangerously out of control after some torrid recent results, some ardent Toffees fans are willing to put respite on hold until after City’s visit.
Some season ticket holders have even suggested they won’t go.
Of course even if Everton are at their best City could steamroll them, but if they spring an early surprise the mood will be intriguing.
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