Everton v Leeds
Saturday November 28, 17:30
Toffees’ success partly down to ace midfield
Everton are currently sixth and that’s a pretty good effort so far. And it’s mostly on the back of their excellent start because prior to a hard-fought 3-2 win over Fulham last time out, they were on a three-match losing streak.
A big part of their improvement has been down to a completely new-look midfield where Allan does the dirty work, Abdoulaye Doucoure contributes with hard-running, tough tackling, simple passing and the odd goal and James Rodriguez does the pretty things, playing slick passes around and trying to unlock opposition defences with his vision and creativity. He did admittedly look a bit jaded last time out but then again, he was coming back from a long trip playing for Colombia.
They look good upfront, too. Similar to the likes of Danny Ings and Tammy Abraham, Dominic Calvert-Lewin can consider himself pretty unlucky to not really get a look-in for England with the likes of Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling around because the Everton hitman has been brilliant so far. He got two more goals last weekend and looked better with Richarlison back partnering him upfront, the Brazilian having just returned from suspension.
Seamus Coleman is expected to miss out with injury but everyone else is available.
Bamford proving the doubters wrong
Leeds have really impressed me so far. Bar Rodrigo, who hasn’t even been particularly good up to now, there are no expensive big-name players in the side so it’s been a case of getting the most out of what they have. And for that, of course, Marcelo Bielsa deserves full credit.
Good examples of that are all-action tough-tackling defender Stuart Dallas and striker Patrick Bamford. Many thought Bamford would struggle at this level, but he’s been superb. He’s got seven goals already this season and has now scored in each of his four away matches. Opta tell us only Thierry Henry netted in all of his first five away games of a Premier League season.
They’ll be a little upset about not winning last week.
There’s no disgrace in drawing with Arsenal but they had an extra man for much of the second half and just couldn’t score.
But they’ll be better for having gone through that and will surely be better prepared for next time.
The prices here aren’t particularly surprising. Everton, much higher up in the table and with a strong record against Leeds, are 2.111/10. In fact, so strong that they’re unbeaten against Leeds in their last 13 top-flight games against them. They kept a clean sheet in eight of their last ten against the Yorkshire outfit.
But I’m not going with the home win. Leeds had a bad day at the office at Selhurst Park (4-1) the last time they were on the road but they went and beat Villa 3-0 away and also got the better of Sheffield United (1-0) before that.
I was a bit surprised that overs was as short as 1.664/6 but there are good reasons for that. In four home games for the Toffees, all of them have gone overs and most of them pretty comfortably: 5-2, 4-2, 2-2 and 1-3. A sign of a side who’s as strong in attack as they are vulnerable at the back.
For Leeds it’s three from four on the road that have had at least three goals. So with seven of the eight games in our study going ‘overs’ we can easily see why ‘overs’ is so fancied.
And what about over 3.5 goals? Well it’s the same four from four that went ‘over 3.5 goals’ in Everton home games and two from two in Leeds away games, so I think it’s worth taking the risk.
Goodison Park really has been the place for goals this season and 2.68/5 is just good enough to make me take the plunge.
I hope I don’t get accused of putting all my eggs in one basket and lose on two bets if this ends 0-0!
But not only do I really think there will be goals but this next bet actually only needs two.
As a same-game multi-bet you can back Calvert-Lewin, the league’s top scorer no less, to score anytime at 11/10. You can also back Bamford, the league’s fourth-highest scorer and he of the flawless away scoring record, at 2/1.
Putting them together sees you paid out at 6.73 and that’s good to turn down.