Chelsea might go into their match against Everton as heavy 7/20 favourites to claim all three points but the Toffees’ recent record against the west Londoners suggests there could yet be value in the draw.
The Stamford Bridge outfit have won just two of their last ten and none of the last six meetings against Everton, while four of the last six matches ended without a winner after 90 minutes.
With David Moyes seemingly so adept at setting up his side to frustrate Chelsea, a draw could be worth a punt at odds of 7/2 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, while Everton are priced at 8/1 to beat Andre Villas-Boas’ side for the third time in their last six meetings.
While this latter option remains unlikely given the confident start Chelsea have made to the 2011/12 Premier League season under their new Portuguese manager, Everton’s recent performances also provide cause for optimism.
They might have lost their last two games to Manchester City and Liverpool, but their showing in the Merseyside derby in particular – at least until Jack Rodwell was harshly sent off – demonstrated they can mix it with the clubs at the top of the table.
The availability of Rodwell, who had his red card rescinded on appeal, will be key to Everton’s chances given the role he performs in the team.
The England under-21 international is often given the brief of guarding the back four while keeping a close eye on players who like to ghost between the lines of midfield and attack.
Should Rodwell shake off a groin injury picked up over the international break, he could therefore play a big part in restricting the influence of Juan Mata, preventing Chelsea’s attack from running riot and keeping Everton in the game.
Even if punters feel Chelsea will be able to come out on top over the course of 90 minutes, they should still consider backing Everton to be level at the break.
The Toffees have been drawing four of their six Premier League games at the interval so far this season, with both of their away games level at 0-0 after 45 minutes.
With this in mind, a draw at half time is available at 29/20, while a 0-0 half time score can be found at 23/10.
A successful £25 free bet on Everton to be drawing 0-0 with Chelsea at half time would return £82.50, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
Meanwhile, the fact Chelsea have only kept one clean sheet in the league this season – with the likes of Norwich, Swansea and Bolton all breaching the Blues’ rear guard – will give Everton hope that they can still be level at the final whistle, and the Toffees are 83/100 to score at least one goal in the match.
With all this in mind, a draw at half time and at the final whistle looks attractive at 6/1.
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