IT’S been a disappointing start to the season for David Moyes and his Everton side, having picked up just one point from their first three games. The fact that they’ve only scored one goal has to be a worry and the Scotsman would definitely want his team to be in better form for tomorrow’s visit of Manchester United.
However, we’ve seen in recent seasons that the Toffees have raised their game against the top teams, especially at Goodison Park. They have lost just one of their last 19 home matches and only two of their last seven against the Big Four. They beat United 3-1 in this fixture last season and have taken four points from the last two league meetings between the sides on Merseyside.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have looked as solid as ever at Old Trafford so far this season, but they could only draw 2-2 with Fulham in their sole away fixture. Travel sickness has been the Red Devils’ problem over the past year and they’ve only won four of their last 12 away games at top-half, non-Big Four finishers in the past two seasons (W4-D6-L2).
The Wayne Rooney factor also has to be thrown into the mix, as he will be certain to receive an even more hostile reception than normal with the current allegations about his private life. William Hill are a best priced 10/11 about a United victory, but I would be happier to lay them on Betdaq at the same price. Everton are a decent side and have been slightly unlucky to have only taken one point so far.
The lay of United is the main bet, but I wouldn’t put anyone off also having a few quid on the Everton win at 7/2 on Betdaq, as they beat both United and champions Chelsea on home soil last season.
Although the last meeting here was 3-1, Bettorlogic.com analysis points to this being a low-scoring encounter. There have been two or fewer goals scored in six of the Toffees’ last nine home matches against the Big Four and the same is true in 10 of United’s last 12 away at top-half, non-Big Four finishers.
It is definitely worth your time downloading the ‘Soccer Mystic’ trading software from Betangel.com. Built specifically to simplify trading football matches on the sports exchanges, it can model likely profits for given positions based on the way a match is unfolding. In the case of this game, it can tell us whether there’s more value in laying United or backing Everton in-play.
Lay Manchester United at 10/11 on Betdaq
Everton to win at 7/2 on Betdaq
Sell total goals at 2.5 with Sporting Index
BIRMINGHAM vs LIVERPOOL
TOMORROW – 12.45PM SKY SPORTS
ROY HODGSON picked up his first Premier League win as Liverpool manager against West Brom last time and that will have calmed his nerves slightly. Their 3-0 defeat at Eastlands was worrying and they now face two tough back-to-back away games with Birmingham on Sunday and Manchester United the following weekend.
The Reds’ problems last season stemmed from their poor away form; they only won five of 19 on their travels, scoring a paltry 18 goals which was just one better than relegated Burnley. They seem to find it difficult away from the Anfield crowd and St Andrews is not an easy place to visit.
Birmingham had a fantastic first campaign back in the top flight last season, managing to draw every game at home against the Big Four. They set their stall out to frustrate teams and try to hit them on the break, although so far this term all three of their league games have produced at least three goals.
Since being promoted, Blues have drawn the first half in 11 of their 20 games at St Andrews, including six of their nine matches hosting top-half finishers. It’s a stat that sits well with Liverpool going in level at the break in 14 of their last 19 away games and in eight of 12 trips to middle-third finishers.
The last four league meetings between these sides home and away have ended in stalemates, so I will be backing that pattern to continue at 9/4 with Paddy Power. With the strong stats pointing to a half-time draw, I would also suggest getting stuck into the 9/2 888sport are offering about the HT / FT draw double result.
Although Birmingham’s games have so far been higher scoring than normal, there have been two goals or fewer in seven of their past nine home contests against top-half finishers since the start of last season. I can see this finishing either goalless or 1-1, so spread bettors are advised to sell goals at 2.4 with Sporting Index.
Match to be drawn at 9/4 with Paddy Power
Draw HT / draw FT at 9/2 with 888sport
Sell total match goals at 2.4 with Sporting Index
WEST HAM vs CHELSEA
TOMORROW – 3.00PM
THESE two London rivals couldn’t have started the season more differently. Chelsea have comfortably won their three opening fixtures, scoring 14 goals in the process and are yet to concede. West Ham meanwhile have lost their opening three, conceding nine goals and finding the net just once.
Paddy Power are a best-priced 1/3 about Chelsea which isn’t surprising considering the start they’ve made. They did, however, only manage a draw at Upton Park last season, which tempers enthusiasm slightly for taking such a short price.
The Hammers have lost to nil in six of their last nine home games against Big Four sides, while Chelsea have won to nil in eight of their 13 trips to bottom-six outfits since 2008/09. 888sport have gone 11/8 about an away win to nil and that looks too big a price to miss.
Although Avram Grant’s side have conceded three goals in all three league games this season, I think the manager will have worked long and hard with his defenders on the training ground since the Bolton match. I can’t see them keeping Chelsea out, but they may be able to restrict it to two, so back the 2-0 scoreline at 13/2 with William Hill.
Finally, for those of you that like your weekend accumulator, The Football Pools Premier 10 game is on a double rollover where one winner could scoop £50,000. All you have to do is pick the correct result (home win, draw or away win) for all 10 Premier League games to be in with a chance of claiming a share of the prize. I’ve seen much more difficult weeks than this one, so log-on to Footballpools.com and have a go.
Chelsea to win to nil at 11/8 with 888sport
Chelsea to win 2-0 at 13/2 with William Hill