The Premier League game that "never was" finally gets played on Wednesday night, as the Tottenham Hotspurs take on Everton in their all-important game in hand. See what soccer betting options are on tap at the bookies.
opening-day clash with Everton was called off due to the
London riots (although not,
as some have suggested, to allow Tottenham players the chance to go looting),
which meant that every time Spurs’ points tally has been calculated the caveat “yet they have that all-important game in
hand” has had to be added. So it's a welcome relief to Spurs fans (and
pundits alike) that they finally get to play it.
could well be the perfect time for Spurs to face Everton, as the Toffees have come
unstuck of late. Their last league match was a 2-1 defeat against Bolton. The
game was doubly memorable; firstly as it was a Bolton victory, and secondly
because Everton‘s ‘keeper Tim Howard (with a little wind assistance) scored from his own box.
Howard is at 45/1 with the soccer odds makers to open the scoring on Wednesday night
and you can get betting odds of 10/1 on any ‘keeper scoring again in the Premier League
First in - best seated
As things stand
in the table, Tottenham are third in the league on 42 points and if they were to
win their game against Everton (offered up at 4/7 with the sportsbooks) they
would be tied with second-place Manchester United on 45 points. However Spurs would
need to increase their goal difference by 13 to overtake the reigning champions.
Goal difference aside, the mere thought of being tied with the Red Devils should
be all the Spurs players need to tear into Everton.
comparison, are 11th in the table and seem to be sitting comfortably
in a group of eight teams on twenty-something points. This group is unlikely
to be troubled by either a relegation scrap or a fight for a European place. Soccer betting lines currently list Everton at 40/1 to be relegated and 22/1 to finish top six.
take all three points they will jump two places in the league going above both
Sunderland and Norwich. Looking downwards the Toffees are a clear seven points
ahead of both Wolves and QPR, the two teams directly above (and in danger of
falling into) the relegation zone.
Everton have had
somewhat of patchy run at present (with just seven league wins after 19 games).
After their last league game they did seem to have bounced back well with their
2-0 victory over Tamworth in the FA Cup at the weekend. Spurs have been doing considerably better and
are unbeaten in their last seven games, a run that dates back to a 2-1 away
defeat at Stoke on 11th December.
All roads lead to
league position and the general vibe around each club all point to a Tottenham victory
and the bookies seem to agree, as they have an Everton victory at 6/1. The
head-to-head stats make slightly more encouraging reading for Everton as Spurs
haven't beaten the Toffees since February 2010. What's more interesting while looking at the last five meetings is that no team has ever scored more than two
goals, and out of the three victories (in the last five meetings) it has been victory
for the home side each and every time. The other two matches have ended tied,
and if you wish to back a draw it’s at 14/5 with the oddsmakers.
If you have the
money, time and inclination to spread your soccer picks around you might want to cover
the four different scores that this meeting has thrown up in recent years. A 2-1
home victory is at 15/2, a 1-1 draw is at 6/1, a 2-2 draw is at 16/2 and a 2-0 Tottenham
victory (as this game ended back in October 2009) is at 11/2.
Injury woes (for
center-back Phil Jagielka has been ruled out for six weeks with ligament damage
to his knee after last Wednesday's game against Bolton. He joins the growing
Everton injury list with Tim Cahill, Jack Rodwell and Leon Osman also
sidelined. Spurs also have to contend with injuries; Sandro and William Gallas
who both limped off with calf injuries during Tuesday's 1-0 win over West Brom.
What’s more Tottenham’s midfielder Scott Parker is on long term sick leave,
with Ledley King and Jermaine Jenas.
What a difference
a year can make (sometimes)
Almost a year ago
to the day this match was played at Everton and the home side beat Spurs 2-1.
Back thenDavid Moyes’ side sat in 13th place in the table only three points off 18th
place Fulham, while Spurs were doing all they could to hang on to fourth place.
If you feel history will repeat itself you can 20/1 on Everton winning 2-1. My
crystal ball tells me Everton will not cause a shock this time round and Spurs
will take the game (injuries or not) and I’m backing Harry's boys to win both
halves at 5/4 and record a decent goal tally.
Excluding Spurs’ 3-0 win over Cheltenham in the FA Cup on Saturday (and 4-0
UEFA Cup victory over Shamrock Rovers in mid-December) Spurs haven't scored more
than two goals in a game since their 3-0 victory over Bolton on 3rd December.
I feel that the festive period hangover and turkey sandwiches have now been
burnt off, and the Spurs will come out striking. I'm going with a decent number of
goals from the Cockerels and a consolation goal for Everton.
Certainly worth a bet is 4-1 at 22/1, or even 5-1 at 66/1. If you think Spurs
will shut out Everton bet on 3-0 at 9/1 or even 4-0 at 25/1, but remember, Everton
do have a habit of scoring and have recorded at least one goal in their past
six games. I don't think it's overly generous to expect them to get one against
Spurs; it won’t affect the outcome though. Spurs will take all three points and
give Alex Ferguson something else to worry about.
Prediction: Spurs win 3-1 at 12/1.