The Toffees got their first full campaign under manager Carlo Ancelotti off to a great start on Sunday, recording their first away win at a ‘Big Six’ club since December 2013 by beating Tottenham 1-0 via Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s towering header.
West Brom showed signs that they will find life back at the top table tough, however, losing 3-0 at home to Midlands rivals Leicester City. Two late Jamie Vardy penalties perhaps made the scoreline a little harsh on the Baggies, but there was a distinct lack of attacking threat from Slaven Bilic’s side throughout the game.
Given the impact of Everton’s signings at Spurs, 8/15 on them beating West Brom actually looks decent value. The draw is 16/5, with an away upset 5/1.
Indeed, new midfielders Abdoulaye Doucouré, James Rodriguez and Allan, who was named man of the match by Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville, had a transformative impact on a side who were sorely lacking in that area last season.
Ancelotti was delighted with his side’s performance and result.
“We showed we can compete with everyone if we have the right spirit and the right attitude,” he said.
There was an excellent balance about his side’s front three, with Rodriguez picking passes from the right, Richarlison dribbling and shooting from the left, and Calvert-Lewin leading the line as a conventional centre-forward.They shouldn’t be short of chances against a West Brom side who will likely sit deep with a back five and look to hit Everton on the break.
Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are both 13/10 to score anytime (bet365 and Sky Bet respectively). Sky Bet have boosted both forwards to score to 5/1, with James Rodriguez best-priced 5/2 to mark his home debut with a goal (Betfair).
One price I do have my eye on is Doucouré recording a shot on target at 6/4 (Sky Bet). The former Watford midfielder played a little deeper than I expected against Spurs, but should receive more freedom to roam against an inferior side and you’d imagine there’ll be a fair few pot-shots taken by Ancelotti’s side against a low-block.
Prior to lockdown, after which both Doucouré’s and Watford’s form fell off a cliff leading to their relegation, the French midfielder had six shots on target in 10 matches, scoring with three of them.
He certainly has the ability to test Sam Johnstone at least once.
As always, I’m also encouraged to see Mike Dean officiating this one. He hasn’t been as card-happy without fans in the ground – showing 15 cards in six matches – but he’s still right up there in terms of reliable Premier League referees to show a card when one is deserved.
Jake Livermore was fortunate in my eyes to avoid one against Leicester, making three fouls in a combative display. The central midfielder was booked 10 times in the Championship last season so 3/1 on him to be carded anytime looks a great price (Unibet).
If you’re looking for a bet365 Bet offer Builder to try and get better value on an Everton win, I like the look of Everton to win, Over 0 Cards for West Brom, and Over 0 1st Half Corners for Everton at 4/5.
The Toffees should take the game to the visitors and I’d be amazed if the second and third element of this bet doesn’t land to be honest; it’s all about whether they can get the job done in terms of the result.
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