Tickets for this match should be stamped with a parental guidance warning. Any children in attendance at Goodison Park on Saturday evening might be subjected to acts of absolute brutality.
Everton are the latest lambs lined up for Manchester City’s post-Norwich slaughterhouse. In the three games since their defeat at Carrow Road, the champions have scored 14 goals and conceded none.
The Toffees, by painfully obvious contrast, have lost at Bournemouth and been beaten 2-0 by a newly promoted side who only had one shot on target in their last two league games. How can they possibly hope to get something here?
Paddy doesn’t give them a cat in hell’s chance. Marco Silva’s team (at the time of writing, he may be out of a job by half time) are priced at a whopping 9/1 to win, with the draw available at 9/2 and a City win a minuscule 1/4.
But perhaps we’re being too hasty. After all, three of the teams which defeated Manchester City last season finished ninth, 12th and 13th, while Norwich were 19th and ravaged by injury when they won three weeks ago. Plus the worst Premier League defeat of Pep’s tenure occurred at Goodison Park, when they were walloped 4-0 in 2017. Is there a sliver of hope for Silva?
If the odds are shorter for a 5-0 away win (25/1) than a 1-0 home win (30/1), almost certainly not. The Toffees have only kept clean sheets in the league against Crystal Palace and Watford this season, two sides who go into the weekend as the joint-lowest scorers in the division.
With City having scored in their last 28 league matches in a row, and Everton only able to recover four points from the 21 Premier League games under Silva in which they’ve conceded first, the visitors will open the scoring and win.
The last three meetings, two of which have been on Merseyside, have seen Guardiola’s guys win by a two goal margin. However, to get a decent boost on the win odds, we have to consider if they’ll win by three.
It has to be a distinct possibility. City have scored at least twice in every match so far this season – even when they’ve failed to win – and Everton haven’t even averaged a goal per league game.
If the visitors are to win by three goals, then we could obviously have a bet on over 2.5 in the Over/Under Goals Market. However, the odds are only 4/9, so is it worth pushing the bet to over 3.5 goals?
Every City league game this season has featured at least four goals, as have 40 of their matches since the start of 2017/18, more than for any other Premier League team. It hasn’t been as common in Everton games, but if you look at the proportion of a team’s matches with three goals that go on to feature at least four, City are top of the league and Everton are joint-second. Must make a nice change for them to be that high on any table, to be honest.
When your most likely goal scorer is rated less likely than eight players on the other team – including Oleksandr Zinchenko, for pity’s sake – you know your chances aren’t great. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (who scored against City last season) and Moise Kean are the Toffees’ shortest priced players, but I’m going for Gylfi.
Sigurdsson is Everton’s top scorer since August 2017, and netted against Tottenham, Chelsea and United last season. Maybe VAR will award him a soft penalty if we’re lucky, and he’ll score it if we’re extremely lucky.
Sergio Aguero is on the brink of becoming the fourth player to score in eight successive Premier League appearances, and he couldn’t have asked for much more accommodating opponents to help him on his way. The Argentine was given the night off in midweek too, unlike the likes of Jesus and Sterling.
While I’d never discourage you from betting on Aguero, I’m going for Jesus to get slightly better odds. He has scored in the last three meetings of these teams, as well as in his last three away appearances for City.