Everton take on Southampton in the Premier League on Monday in a 8pm kick-off at Goodison Park.
The Toffees will be looking to close the gap on top four rivals West Ham to two points (with a game in hand) after they lost at Manchester City on Saturday.
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Southampton, meanwhile, have taken only one point from their last eight games and may be nervously looking over their shoulders.
Everton are 21/20 favourites to win this match, with the draw and a Southampton win both 5/2.
I do fancy Everton here, but their recent wretched run of form at home puts me off from backing them outright.
Indeed, Carlo Ancelotti’s side have only taken one point from their last five games at Goodison Park.
However, Southampton have the exact same record away from home in recent times, and will be missing several first-team players through injury with Oriol Romeu, Kyle Walker-Peters, Takumi Minamino and Theo Walcott the most notable of the absentees.
Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side have only two clean sheets on the road this season, with hose coming at Burnley and Fulham, two of the league’s lowest four scorers having averaged fewer than one goal per game.
As such, with the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, James Rodriguez and Lucas Digne all fit and firing again, I’ll back Everton to score.
Martin Atkinson officiates this clash, with the 49-year-old showing both teams at least one card each and 3+ overall in 10 of his last 11 PL games.
Everton and Southampton have both only failed to receive a card in four of their PL matches this season, so I’ll keep things simple and back a card for each. This has landed in 12 of Everton’s last 13 PL games and in nine of Southampton’s last 10, as well as in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign.
Lastly, to get us above double your money territory, I’ll also back the Saints to earn 3+ corners. With Romeu out they are probably going to be forced to play a very attacking team, and they’ve hit this mark in 17 of their last 18 PL games.
Moreover, Everton’s opponents have hit this mark in each of their last 14 PL games, with Ancelotti content to sit back a lot of the time and play on the counter-attack:
Over 0 Goals for Everton, Over 0 Cards for Everton, Over 0 Cards for Southampton, Over 2 Corners for Southampton @ 11/10 (bet365).
In terms of player cards, with Romeu likely to miss the rest of the season, it remains to be seen whether 19-year-old Alexandre Jankewitz receives another chance after being sent off within two minutes on his debut on the way to Southampton’s 9-0 defeat at Manchester United.
If he and Allan – who is still awaiting his comeback from injury – do start at the base of both midfielders, 16/1 (bet365) for both to be carded looks a great price.
Allan has been booked four times in 12 PL games this season, with Jankewitz booked 10 times in 22 Premier League reserve games for the Saints on top of his sending off against Man Utd.
Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Ward-Prowse are two other good options who will almost certainly start for a 18/1 double. Doucoure has been booked six times this season, while Ward-Prowse’s defensive responsibility will increase without Romeu alongside him.
There’s not a great deal else which attracts me here, but I do like the look of Ward-Prowse and Stuart Armstrong both to have a shot on target each at around 13/2 (Betfair).
This landed last time out against Leeds, with Everton another side who concede plenty of shots. Ward-Prowse has hit the target in five of his last seven PL games, with Armstrong’s influence growing again in recent weeks.