Everton are unbeaten in four games since a defeat to QPR in their first match of the season and also have an extremely strong recent record against Manchester City, their opponents this weekend.
Nevertheless, it is the Citizens who go into the match as odds-on favourites to claim all three points at 2/5 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market.
This leaves the Toffees at the astonishingly long price of 27/4 to grab a win at the Etihad Stadium in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off, with a draw priced at 17/5.
Prior to a Carling Cup win over Championship side Birmingham in midweek, Manchester City’s form had tailed off slightly following an assured start to the season.
Successive draws against Napoli in the Champions League and Fulham in the Premier League will have curbed some of the momentum built up through winning the first four league games of the season, with victory over Birmingham unlikely to have had a fully restorative effect.
The question is whether Everton can take advantage of this and inflict a first competitive defeat on City since 7th May.
City’s opponents on that day were none other than Everton, and this was the most recent of four successive wins David Moyes’ men have recorded over the Citizens.
Indeed, the Toffees have emerged victorious from seven of their last ten encounters with City, suggesting their chances of victory are underplayed by their odds of 27/4.
Everton’s fine recent record against their next opponents certainly makes them good value in the double-chance market, where a draw or Everton win is priced at 39/20.
A successful £25 free bet on Everton to secure a draw or win over Man City would return £73.75.
The £25 free bet is available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
However, the fact that Man City are much improved this year – even allowing for their two recent draws – suggests Everton will find it harder to achieve a positive result than they have in the past.
And the way Roberto Mancini’s men have taken Premier League teams apart at the Etihad Stadium so far this season means it is unlikely that Everton will come away from Manchester with any points.
City have scored seven goals in their two home league matches so far and have yet to concede a goal.
With this in mind, betting on Man City to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 looks attractive at odds of 33/20.
Alternatively, punters could bet on Man City to win to nil at odds of 5/4.
However, perhaps the best bet is on there being more than 2.5 goals in the second half at odds of 14/5, with six of Man City’s seven goals scored at home coming after the interval and Everton twice as likely to score after the break so far this season.
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