Sometimes, life can surprise you. Take this summer for instance: the Olympics gave people such a feeling of goodwill that strangers actually talked to each other on the tube, Andy Murray proved that he wasn’t a miserable, heartless so and so and in August, Everton actually got off to a good start to the season for the first time since Bill Kenwright was first seen swanning around Coronation Street.
The fact that the Toffees have made a brilliant start to their campaign is probably the most unexpected occurrence in sport this year, because it just doesn’t happen. Year after year, David Moyes has seen his pre-season interrupted by the elongated departures of his best players, injuries to the key stars who remain and a lack of funds with which to replace the departed and give his squad much-needed depth.
But in 2012, something has changed and all of a sudden, Everton are reaping the rewards of having a manager at the helm for over a decade working in tandem with a chairman who trusts him implicitly. The former Preston boss has made a little go an awful long way and Everton boast as good a squad as they ever have under Moyes.
The purchases of Nikica Jelavic, Darron Gibson and Steven Pienaar in January meant that there wasn’t much money in the summer, but crucially there didn’t need to be and with the squad settled and injury free, the beginning of the Premier League campaign has been a dream.
Ten points from five games leave the Blues third in the table – a far cry from their usual struggle until the new year – and Moyes will fancy his chances of progressing into the next round of the Capital One Cup when his team travel to Elland Road to face Leeds United.
Everton are reaping the rewards of having a manager at the helm for over a decade working in tandem with a chairman who trusts him implicitly. The former Preston boss has made a little go an awful long way and Everton boast as good a squad as they ever have under Moyes.
Everton are odds-on to do just that, priced up at 3/4 to win in 90 minutes, with the draw at 13/5 and Leeds 7/2, and I have to be all over Moyes’ boys in this one.
Neil Warnock has overseen an indifferent start to Leeds’ Championship campaign, with the Whites currently 12th in the division after winning three and losing three of their seven matches so far. The former Sheffield United boss may have his eyes on an eighth promotion of his career but United look short of quality, even in a year when the Championship itself looks bereft of top players and decent teams.
And with Warnock’s track record of essentially throwing the cups, Everton are the bet here. Moyes has already signalled his intent in this competition with his team selection for the 5-0 win over Leyton Orient in the last round. Yes, there were some changes, but for perhaps the first time in his tenure, Moyes is able to make adjustments to his side without fear of detrimental effects.
The Scot rotated his team against the League One outfit, but he was not drafting in young and inexperienced players: Kevin Mirallas, who scored at Swansea at the weekend, was given his debut (he duly bagged a brace), likewise Steven Naismith made a first start, while Johnny Heitinga, a fully-fledged Dutch international, enjoyed his first start of the season.
In other words, even if Moyes is tempted to tinker with his team he still has the quality in reserve to beat Leeds and if the 3/4 is a bit short for you, the 33/20 on the Everton/Everton double result is must-bet material. The Blues have been leading at half-time in four of their six fixtures this season and can get off to another fast start on Tuesday.
Recommended bet: Everton/Everton double result @ 33/20
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