Everton’s victory over Manchester City two weeks ago was a tremendous result in its own right, but more importantly, it signalled a return to form for the Toffees after a mini-blip which saw them win only one of their previous four Premier League fixtures.
The three points put them right back in the mix as they challenge Tottenham and Arsenal for a top-four spot that would secure Champions League football at Goodison Park next season.
After that impressive 2-0 success over the champions, Everton should come out firing when Stoke City visit Merseyside on Saturday and they look well worthy of their 3/5 favouritism in bwin’s 3Way market.
The Potters, on the other hand, have been in miserable form of late and are a massive 5/1 to claim maximum points after only winning one of their last seven Premier League matches.
Tony Pulis has come under fire from the Stoke faithful in recent weeks as the Britannia Stadium hasn’t witnessed a home win since February 9th (a 2-1 victory over Reading), but they did manage to draw their last fixture against West Brom and another resilient performance like that could help them sneak a share of the spoils.
I cannot see it myself, but for punters who sense a stalemate, that eventuality can be backed at odds of 13/5.
Another major boost for Everton in their win over City was Nikica Jelavic getting on the scoresheet and ending a 12-game goal drought in the process.
The Goodison fans will be delighted to see the big Croatian hitman back on form, because last season he was a goalscoring machine.
Jelavic notched 11 goals in 16 games in the second half of the campaign as he proved to be an inspired January signing for David Moyes, but this term has not been quite as good for the former Rangers striker.
Eight goals in 34 appearances is not the return he would have expected, but a handful of goals in the coming weeks to push Everton towards a top-four finish would ensure that the recent dry spell is quickly forgotten.
He is priced as 4/1 favourite to score the first goal against Stoke, which would return a cool £100 for any new bwin customers successfully backing him with their free £20 bet after registering.
For a man who only has one goal in 12 games, you could argue that the price is slightly short, but the bookies are not stupid, realising the true threat that Jelavic – who is 13/10 to score at any time – possesses in front of goal.
However, punters who don’t fancy backing Jelavic could instead snap up some solid value in Everton to be winning 1-0 at half-time.
Earlier in the season at the Britannia, Everton were ahead at the break by a solitary goal and what’s more, the Toffees’ last three Premier League matches have also seen David Moyes’ side leading by a goal to nil at the interval.
This occurrence is available at odds of 23/10 to bwin customers and looks like a tempting bet if you wish to stay away from simply backing Everton to win at 3/5 or Jelavic to break the deadlock.