Manchester United might have beaten Aldershot 3-0 in midweek, but this is hardly likely to mask the pain of their derby drubbing. Will they put on a performance against Everton to silence their critics, or will the Toffees heap further misery on the Red Devils? Chris Bryant is joined by Harry Boulton and Nathan Staples, with the former arguing the case for Everton and the latter for Man Utd.
CB: So who’s going to win this one lads? Can Everton quash the expected reaction from Man Utd?
HB: I actually think that Everton will be galvanised by United’s big defeat at the hands of Manchester City last week – it shows they’re more than beatable. In any case, Goodison Park isn’t the easiest place to go to, so I’m backing the home side to pull a win out of the bag to further put United’s title challenge in jeopardy. Everton come into the game following a good victory against Fulham in their last league encounter, secured in injury time, which will have buoyed the fans and given the team some momentum. A Toffees win therefore looks extremely good value at 17/5.
NS: Well unsurprisingly I’m going the other way. The loss last week to City hurt. Now, United are left a wounded animal and will be playing catch-up. While we don’t have the best of records against Everton, especially at Goodison Park, I wouldn’t like to be in a blue shirt this weekend. United are the team to bounce back, and with the return of Tom Cleverley and Nemanja Vidic, at 83/100 United are at good odds to appease the fans’ appetite for three points.
CB: How do you see the game unfolding? Is it likely to be won early on or late in the game?
HB: Looking at Everton’s games this season, their goals appear to have come late on in the matches. In fact, six out of their ten League goals have come after 80 minutes, which would indicate that if they are going to go for the win, they might leave it late. The last time the two sides met at Goodison, the Toffees scored two goals in injury time to claim a point for their efforts. A good bet to consider therefore may be Everton to score the last goal, priced at 33/20.
NS: I think United players are going to come out of the blocks quickly, probably having been kicked up the backsides by Fergie on their way out of the dressing room. And one man guaranteed to start quickly is Wayne Rooney, who will be hugely motivated against his former side. He used to be loved, now he’s despised by the Everton faithful, and he always puts in that extra mile against thee Toffees. He is priced at 4/1 to score first this weekend, and the joint-top scorer in the league will love to stick another goal past Everton.
CB: Who else do you see scoring in the game?
HB: Louis Saha seems like the man most likely to inflict danger on the opposition at the moment, with an ability to score crucial goals to turn matches. He showed us this against Chelsea in midweek and last weekend to put his side ahead against Fulham. The former Manchester United striker is 9/4 to score any time in the match, but a more attractive option may be the 8/1 offered for Saha to score the last goal of the match. And I think there will be more than one goal in the game for the Toffees. In the past two seasons, the match between these two sides on Everton’s home turf has resulted in three goals for David Moyes’ men. Man United will be no happier to go there this time around, under pressure to perform and close the gap to City. As seen recently, United have not exactly been watertight at the back and Everton will be looking to capitalise on their frailties. The odds of Everton to score over 1.5 goals at 9/4 may therefore seem like good value.
NS: Bit of a left-field one from me here. While most players in a United shirt dislike facing a tricky team like Everton, one Scot seems to look forward to the occasion. Darren Fletcher has scored three times in the past three seasons against the Toffees, and got off the mark this season with the conciliation against Manchester City. 11/2 is a cracking price for the Scotland captain to make it four in four seasons at any point in the game.
CB: And can I tempt a final score prediction from you to finish off?
HB: If you were to coax a scoreline prediction out of me, I would suggest that 2-1 looks like a good shout, made even more attractive accompanied by odds of 12/1 in the regular time goal bet market. Matches between these two sides are usually hotly contested with a fair amount of drama, and I don’t think either team will run away with it. However, given the home team’s ability to snatch late goals and the mounting pressure on United, I think Everton will edge a 2-1 win and give the fans something to shout about.
NS: As earlier mentioned, United need to respond to the 6-1 hammering last weekend. The only way to do that is with a win, and they will come all-guns-blazing to snatch a win at Goodison Park. Everton aren’t the best at home, only winning one in four, and have found difficulty scoring this season. Backing United to win 2-0 at 8/1 looks more than tempting.
CB: Thanks guys. Until next time…
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