Everton v Man United
Sunday April 26, 13:30 BST
Live on Sky Sports 1
It’s been a difficult second season for Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park as a disappointing first six months left The Blues scratching around in the lower half of the table. Things have improved since their exit from the Europa League however and Everton come into this fixture in 12th place having taken 13 points from a possible 15.
It would be remiss to mention the fact that three of those five games came at home, and Newcastle, QPR, Southampton, Swansea and Burnley are hardly the most fearsome of opponents. Nevertheless, the matches still needed to be won and the victories will send The Toffees into their final five fixtures full of hope that they can finish in the top eight.
Another team in good nick is Manchester United. After spending most of 2014 in the doldrums, things have gradually improved this year and despite falling to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge last Saturday, United are in third place and relatively secure in the top four.
The turn in fortunes for Louis Van Gaal’s men coincided with a switch in formation and the likes of Fellaini, Mata and Rooney playing at the top of their respective games. It will be interesting to see how they react to their first loss in five and while the performance wasn’t poor, it’s still a concern that Carrick, Jones and Rojo remain sidelined, while Blind is rated as doubtful.
Everton [3.75] Man United [2.2] The Draw [3.45]
The Toffees have been a thorn in the side of United over the years and who can forget the 4-4 at Old Trafford that cost The Red Devils the title in 2012. The Reds won the reverse fixture to this back in October but it was only 2-1 that day and Leighton Baines missed a penalty.
Everton have won the last two meetings between the pair at Goodison and with Romelu Lukaku back in the fold, the [3.75] on offer for a home win is just too big to refuse.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Over 2.5 Goals [2.14] Under 2.5 Goals [1.87]
It’s easy to see why Under 2.5 is the favourite in this market if you only look at Everton’s statistics – six of their last eight have finished with two goals or fewer – but, as mentioned, Lukaku is back and United have defensive players missing.
Things look even better when you check out United’s scorelines as their five most recent ones read – 3-0, 1-2, 3-1, 4-2 and 1-0. Two of their last four on the road rewarded Over 2.5 backers and they rarely fail to score.
A home win and three goals leads me straight to 2-1 in the Correct Score market. It’s available to back at a massive [14.5] and it has to be worth an interest as, despite my bullishness about Martinez’s men taking the three points, I still think it will be a close encounter.
If you are looking for a bet that has a good chance of trading much shorter in-play then look no further than the Half Time/Full Time Market. Everton to be leading at the break and at the final whistle is a [7.0] shot and if they can get on the foot front from the off, with the Gwladys Street Stand roaring them on, it will be difficult for United to peg them back.
Back Everton @ [3.75]
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ [2.14]
Back Everton to win 2-1 @ [14.5]
Best Cash Out
Back Everton/Everton in the HT/FT Market @ [7.0]