Everton v Chelsea, FA Cup quarter-final, Saturday 5.30pm, BBC 1
Chelsea were outclassed over two legs by a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-inspired PSG side (4-2 on aggregate) but interim gaffer Guus Hiddink can still secure some silverware this season by pocketing the FA Cup. The Dutch gaffer is unbeaten in the Premier League since taking over, and his Chelsea side have already flexed their cup muscles by hammering Manchester City’s reserve team 5-1 at Stamford Bridge in the last round.
Roberto Marinez on the other hand is having a fairly miserable season. Bar some disco dancing at a Jason Derulo concert, it’s been no song and dance for Everton who find themselves struggling in 12th spot. When you’re squad is being touted as the best it has been for 25 years and yet you’re still below West Brom in the bottom half of the league it’s not a season that’s going to end well.
Particularly if Chelsea come out on top in the cup and put the nail in Roberto Martinez’s coffin early. If Everton’s defensive clusterf***s have been anything to go by this year, there’s every chance…
Please note: The bet of Chelsea to win and both teams to score was 7/2 when the video was made, but has drifted to.
Everton’s season can be summed up in a couple of simple statistics. While only two top flight sides have scored more goals than them this year, both West Brom and Stoke have kept more clean sheets. The Toffees have been excellent going forward, but defensively have looked as stable as a Kerry Katona wedding.
Everton have won just one of eight matches at home to the top half teams this season (incidentally against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea) yet they have scored 12 goals along the way. Finding the onion bag isn’t the problem, but keeping the opposition out certainly is. Please turn to the 3-2 loss to Leicester, 3-2 loss to West Ham, and 4-3 loss to Stoke as exhibit A, B and C. Case closed.
While the Toffees can boast of that 3-1 win over Chelsea, the Pensioners are a different machine under Guus Hiddink. An average of 1.92 points per game is not to be sniffed at, and if the league started when Hiddink took over, Chelsea would be sat second just four points off the top rather than 10th, 20 points off the pace.
The Pensioners are hardly rock solid at the back themselves however, and both teams have found the back of the net in more than half of HIddink’s matches in charge. Everton’s ability to creating scoring opportunities means we expect them to trouble Chelsea in the FA Cup, but that won’t stop Hiddink’s men heading to Wembley.
Considering only two sides in the Premier League have worse home form than Everton (that’s you Crystal Palace and Aston Villa) it’s a little strange to see the Toffees as favourites. Maybe our traders aren’t happy with their annual reviews, or maybe they know something we don’t? Either way Chelsea are and look a value bet to win within 90 minutes.
We’re holding out for a high-scoring and entertaining FA Cup clash and the odds suggest we should get it, with over 2.5 goals at and both teams to score at .
The best bet of the afternoon however, and the punt that appeals the most is Chelsea to win and both teams to find the net at . Both keepers might be busy on Saturday afternoon, but only one of them will be marching to Wembley in a couple of weeks time. That’ll be under the successful guide of Guus, while it might also mean we have to say bye-bye to Bobby.