After a hard day at work there is nothing quite like kicking back with a few bets and a few refreshments of your choosing in front of Monday Night Football. Next week’s fixture may not be vintage – Sunderland vs Everton at the Stadium of Light – but at least in the latter’s case you will get to witness some fine attacking play.
Sunderland have carved out a niche for themselves as ‘perennial strugglers, last gasp survivors’ in the Premier League, and already they look to be heading for a similar storyline after taking just one point from a possible nine. Former Everton boss David Moyes will be desperate to get revenge on his former employer here for more reasons than the obvious.
Both the league table and the underlying data confirm that the Toffees have enjoyed a fine start to the season; and largely without their top goalscorer of last season, Romelu Lukaku, to boot.
Three points for the Black Cats here will kickstart their campaign, while another win for Everton will confirm that they need to be taken seriously this term. Which way will the game go?
We can tweak the numbers any way we wish, but even after just 270 minutes of Premier League football this term Sunderland already look doomed to another campaign of toil and spoil. They’ve crafted just ten shots on target – compare and contrast that to Everton’s 22 – and netted three goals; where they would be now without Jermain Defoe is anybody’s guess.
No clean sheets thus far is a concern, as is the seeming ease with which their defensive lines are broken down: they’ve shipped a total of 14 shots on target in their three matches so far at an average of 4.66 per 90 minutes – hand Lukaku and co that many chances and you are likely to pay the penalty.
What we really like about this Everton side is their ability to carve open opposition defences. Some 47.83% of their total shots have been on target – the second best ratio in the division – and that says to us that they are creating genuinely good chances. Against a team as fallible as Sunderland, that could prove deadly.
Ronald Koeman is a canny operator, and he will know that his side can outscore Sunderland at will here. Expect them to do just that.
Back Everton to win at 21/20 with bet365
Underwhelming signings, want-away players and the loss of the ‘Big Sam sparkle; those are just three challenges facing David Moyes at Sunderland this term. The likes of Donald Love and Paddy McNair have been thrown straight into the first team, and quite frankly aren’t ready for it, while Lamine Kone tried to engineer a move for himself to Everton in the summer transfer window. Moyes is cut from the same cloth as Allardyce, but the momentum that the new England boss generated last season is now gone.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. The Black Cats could and should have won at Southampton but for an 85th minute equaliser, and it took a Christian Stuani blockbuster to steal the points for Middlesbrough in the North East derby. They were even unlucky in defeat at Manchester City on the opening day when McNair put through his own net, so there is plenty for Black Cats supporters to cling to.
As such we’re going to tip Under 2.5 Goals at 4/5 with Betfred. They don’t have an outlet for goals themselves – it’s Defoe or nothing, it seems – but they will make life difficult for Everton thanks to their 4-1-4-1 formation.
Our conclusions have led us to two correct score punts: Everton to win 1-0 (7/1 with bet365) or 2-0 (10/1 with BetVictor). You can back both and still turn a rather nice profit.