Everton will be looking to prove their defeat to QPR in their first fixture of the season was an aberration rather than a sign of things to come when they take on Aston Villa on Saturday.
The Toffees have had a troubled start to the year, with their 1-0 defeat to Neil Warnock’s side coming against a backdrop of financial uncertainty which has left manager David Moyes’ hands tied in the transfer market.
To make matters worse, star player Mikel Arteta moved to Arsenal on deadline day after handing in a transfer request.
Aston Villa, meanwhile, have made an encouraging start to life under Alex McLeish, picking up a win and two draws in their opening three games of the season.
This has left them four places and two points above Everton in the table after the Toffees followed up their QPR defeat at Goodison with an away win over Blackburn.
Nevertheless, Moyes’ men go into Saturday’s game as 21/20 favourites to pick up all three points, with a draw priced at 11/5 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market and an Aston Villa win at 53/20.
However, past history points to a draw and it could be that this proves the best bet.
Of the last ten meetings between Everton and Aston Villa, six have ended in a draw, while four of the last five games have finished without a winner.
Another statistic which points towards the spoils being shared is that neither team has been prolific in front of goal this season, with both Everton and Villa averaging just a single goal scored per game in the league.
With this in mind, the smart money could be on a low-scoring 1-1 draw at odds of 9/2.
A successful £25 free bet on this scoreline would return £137.50, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
Alternatively, punters could view the lack of goalmouth action involving the two teams so far this season as reason to bet on there being fewer than 2.5 goals at odds of 7/10.
This looks a far safer option, with a successful £25 stake set to return £42.50.
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