Everton host Stoke at Goodison Park on Sunday, with both sides keen to put indifferent spells of form behind them. Sitting 9th and 12th respectively, it promises to be a tight encounter, so where is the value?
Everton Win @ 4/5 (1.8) Ladbrokes
Both Everton and Stoke have endured difficult runs of results during the season. Everton had a span of games where they won just one of 7, and Stoke ended a run of 4 straight defeats last weekend with victory against Blackburn Rovers.
The Toffees however, can point to an extremely tough run of fixtures to explain their run (they faced 6 of the top 7). Stoke have no such defence, and historically, their away form has been terrible for some time – it is not simply a dip in form. During 2010/11, the Potters lost 13 of their 19 away games, and this season they have already been beaten 4 times in their 6 games on the road.
While it is true that Everton have a patchy home record, a closer look at their opponents puts it in a slightly better light. The 3 defeats they have suffered were at the hands of Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool. Stoke are not in that class. The Blues have won versus Wolves and Wigan at Goodison Park, and they look worthy favourites here.
Added to all that, Stoke entertain Dynamo Kiev at the Britannia Stadium on Thursday night in the Europa League. Previously they have suffered from fatigue after Euro clashes and Everton is not the sort of trip where you can afford any drop in effort.
Take Everton to overcome Stoke at Goodison Park. The 4/5 (1.8) at Ladbrokes may not last, but anything greater than 4/6 (1.66) represents value given Stoke’s woeful away record.