PREMIER LEAGUE BETTING
Week 9 Stats Preview
Everton are already looking one of the most solid teams in this highly competitive Premier League season, being one of only three teams to have lost just once, and they rate a better chance at home to Manchester United on Saturday than win odds of 3.35 indicate.
Toffees solid at home to big six
Other match markets are skewed slightly as a result of those odds and Everton’s solidity means they are most appealing on Draw No Bet, currently available at 2.38 On both their figures and United’s, they are good value at those odds.
In the context of Saturday’s match, the relevant figures for Everton lie first in their W5 D6 L4 home record against big-six teams since Roberto Martinez took charge just over two years ago.
The loss rate is low considering the strength of opposition and three of the four defeats came against the champions of the past two seasons (Manchester City in 2013-14 and Chelsea in 2014-15) and the current leaders (City again).
That indicates it usually takes a team on top form to win at Goodison Park, and it is also interesting to note that Martinez’s only other defeat at home to a big-six side was on the final day of last season against Tottenham, when the visitors needed the points and Everton didn’t.
Another factor to take into account is that Everton have recovered from the drop-off in form they experienced during last season’s Europa League campaign and it is arguable that they are a better team than the overall numbers indicate.
Since Everton went out of the Europa League in March, they have had only four defeats in 17 Premier League matches. From the start of last season until they went out of the Europa League, Everton averaged 1.07 points per game, whereas their true level is considerably better than that (1.62 this season).
It is also noteworthy that Everton’s home record against big-six teams improves to W5 D3 L3 when that difficult Europa League period is excluded. And, as their revival kicked in late last season after exiting that competition, the Toffees’ first home match of that period resulted in a 3-0 win over United.
That defeat was part of a below-par away record for United last season against the tricky mid-table group – W2 D2 L2 was not up to the standard required of serious title challengers (Chelsea’s equivalent record was W5 D1 L0 and Manchester City’s was W3 D2 L1).
With United priced up more on reputation than performance and the hosts probably underestimated, Everton on Draw No Bet looks a solid call.
Norwich to pile misery on top of Krul blow
Newcastle suffered another blow with the season-ending injury to goalkeeper Tim Krul while on international duty and Norwich could inflict more pain when they visit St James’ Park on Sunday (16:00, Live on Sky).
The Canaries have made a solid start in the Premier League under Alex Neil, with their three defeats all coming against teams in the current top nine.
Notably, given that they are playing the league’s bottom club on Sunday, Norwich have won two and drawn one of their three games against teams below them in the table. Their only away match in that category was another visit to a struggling north-east club, Sunderland, and they won 3-1.
The only team to beat Norwich on the road – and to stop them scoring, home or away – was Southampton in a 3-0 win that Neil rates as his team’s only poor performance of the season.
Newcastle are not in Southampton’s class and they have won only two out of 14 at home in the league during 2015. Both of those wins were to nil, and Norwich’s scoring record indicates they will be hard to beat in that fashion.