Everton v Man City
Monday 28 December, 20:00
Live on Amazon Prime Video
Ancelotti has taken Everton back to the 80s
Everton’s promising start to the season appeared to have come to an end, but they have fought back to take maximum points from matches against Chelsea, Leicester, Arsenal and Sheffield United.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side ended Boxing Day in second place in the Premier League, and it’s hard to argue against them being real contenders for a Champions League place.
The Toffees have managed to win most of their recent games without the services of James Rodriguez, Allan and Lucas Digne. They were key players in their victories earlier in the campaign, so Ancelotti will be positive about the future.
City are yet to find their brilliant best
Manchester City made it three wins out of three in all competitions by beating Newcastle on Saturday, but they still aren’t firing on all cylinders. Other than against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup, they haven’t scored more than two goals in a domestic fixture since their 5-0 win over Burnley in November.
Gabriel Jesus will again be missing for the trip to Goodison Park, but Sergio Aguero is working his way back to match fitness, and it’s highly likely that the Argentinian will be in the starting XI on Monday.
Pep Guardiola has a big squad, and he will have to shuffle his pack as best he can in the coming weeks as after they face Everton at Goodison, they have to go to Stamford Bridge, which is followed by an away game against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup semis, and then a home tie with Birmingham in the FA Cup.
On the Betfair Exchange, Everton are available to back at 6.86/1, the draw is 4.84/1, and Man City are the favourites at 1.548/15.
My first thought is that I couldn’t even remotely back the visitors at such a short price.
So far this season, City have won just three of seven away matches in the league – dropping points at Leeds, West Ham, Spurs and Man United.
The question is though, do I have enough faith in the Toffees to bet on them at odds of 6.86/1. Their home record this season is four wins out of seven, with their two latest outings being victories against Chelsea and Arsenal.
I do have concerns about a couple of their key players being out injured, so I think that the best option here is to make the most of the Exchange and lay City at 1.558/15.
For those that don’t know, what that means is that we are betting against Manchester City winning the game at odds just shy of 2/1. If you lay them for a liability (your stake) of £11, then a home win or draw will net you a profit of £20.
I am going against the market again, as I head into Over/Under 2.5 Goals.
The former is trading at around the 1.715/7 mark, with the latter at 2.3411/8.
Half a dozen of Everton’s last seven fixtures in all competitions have ended with two goals or fewer, with three of them coming in their last four on this ground.
City have also been on a trend of low-scoring affairs of late, as six of their last eight in all competitions have seen Under 2.5 backers collect. The clincher for me though is that after winning 3-1 at Wolves in their first away game of the campaign, all six of their following Premier League road trips haven’t had more than two goals.
My Same Game Multi will be even tighter when it comes to goals, as I am going to combine Under 1.5 (at a massive 4/1), with Everton and Draw Double Chance, and the Draw at Half-Time at odds of just above 10/1.