West Ham United play their final home game of 2012 this Saturday afternoon as Everton travel south to Upton Park for the first time in two years.
The Hammers go into the game in 11th place in the Premier League thanks to an excellent first half of the season after their promotion from the Championship in the summer.
Not much was expected of the east London club, but Sam Allardyce has once again proven his ability to get the best out of players, with wins over Chelsea and Newcastle in particular proving highlights so far.
However, results of late have been very inconsistent for the Hammers, with the 3-1 win over Chelsea sandwiched between three defeats and two draws, the latest of which came in a dreadful game away to West Brom last Sunday.
This weekend, the Claret and Blues take on top four-chasing Everton, who are only four points better off than West Ham, but find themselves five places higher in sixth.
This not only shows how well West Ham have done on their return to the top flight, but is also a sign of how tight the league has become beneath the top two of Manchester United and Manchester City.
With the points difference minimal, it will come as no great shock that the odds are tight in bwin’s 3-way betting market ahead of the game. Everton, due to their higher standing, are shortest priced at 29/20, but West Ham are not far behind at 37/20, with the draw at 11/5.
The draw may have the longest odds, but this is the result that appears most likely to occur on Saturday afternoon and it is definitely the one to focus your betting on.
New customers registering with bwin today can claim a free £20 bet and placing this on West Ham and Everton to draw would return £64 if successful.
The last time that the Hammers and the Toffees took to the field together was in 2011 when they drew 2-2 at Goodison Park – the third successive meeting between the two sides which had ended all square.
Not only is there a recent history of draws between the teams, they have also racked up a total of 14 draws across the piece this season as well, with Everton supplying a massive nine of those.
Judging by Everton’s results lately, the most likely scoreline come 5pm on Saturday is 1-1, as four of their last five games have ended this way. The bwin bookmakers have this outcome at 5/1.
Another Toffees trend that could make you some money is their knack of scoring first-half goals.
David Moyes’ side have scored 18 goals in the opening 45 minutes compared to ten in the second period and against a West Ham side whose record before the interval is only the 13th-best in the league, a price of 2/1 on Everton leading at the break is pretty tempting.
The Merseysiders are also at a very inviting 11/5 to notch more goals prior to half-time than after it and this could prove an excellent alternative for punters who remain unconvinced by the prospect of backing the draw.