Everton v Tottenham Hotspur betting preview
Spurs will be pushing their case for top four, but some struggles in front of goals could see a tight game at Goodison Park
Roberto Martinez was more or less declared the victor of the final day of the transfer window, with some fantastic deals, the most notable of which was perhaps Romelu Lukaku. He has been one of the players of the season so far, and with Chelsea having their own striker troubles, it does seem that maybe Mourinho made a bad call here.
That won't bother Martinez of course, but it could bother Andre Villas-Boas whose defence will have a tough time dealing with him. Kevin Mirallas had a decent game against Hull, and while Spurs are probably decent, he should be able to supply the front line with good possession in the attacking areas of the pitch, with Steven Pienaar doing the same on the other side.
For Tottenham, a fairly strong squad was taken to extra-time and penalties against Hull during the week, which could have knock on effects. Players may well be showing the effects of that game tomorrow, and certainly one of those who was in the wars that night was Andros Townsend, who has been in fantastic form so far this season. He took a nasty spill over the advertising hoardings and suffered a bit as a result with a head injury. It's looking like he'll be back in the fold, but he might not be at 100%.
With that in mind, it wouldn’t surprise us if it was a cagey affair and a draw is a very tempting result, especially with odds of 23/10. Both teams are in great form, and it's hard to see either of them really failing to perform on the day. Tottenham have been solid away from home this year, and have won three of their four ties when not at White Hart Lane. Their big defeat this season also came at home, and with Villas Boas criticising the fans last week, there's perhaps a case to be made that they feel that there's a monkey on their back of sorts at home when under pressure to perform.
Everton, however, are also in a great run of form, and playing some absolutely fantastic football to boot. They come in to this game having won three on the trot, and the effects of that confidence on a team can be pretty important. At 7/5, they look decent odds to continue that winning streak at home in front of a crowd who are expecting great things from their team.
There is only one point separating these teams right now, and with Champions League football pretty much a must given how much Spurs have spent in the summer window, and their odds at 15/8 reflect that they really need to go full tilt to win this. It's a result that may well mean a lot to them at the end of the season, as it did last year when they needed a late equaliser from Sigurdsson at White Hart Lane to earn a draw.
A more prudent approach would be to look at the total number of goals scored and if you think that Sunday’s game will be difficult to predict. Under 3.5 goals is available at 3/10 but under 1.5 goals at 9/4 could be a decent shout if this one ends up being very close, and it could well be decided by one goal.
As regards who’s going to score the goals themselves, Romelu Lukaku looks decent odds at 5/1 to be the first goalscorer, and with Tottenham having their own troubles up front, their best bet may well be Roberto Soldado at 6/1.
Their midfielders get a lot of the ball (not in the right areas, unfortunately) but a man who looks like he is in good form is Paulinho at 12/1. Erik Lamela has a had a tough start to his Premier League campaign, and at 12/1 also he's a bit of a long shot, but a goal in this game could be the kick start he needs.
Everton's strikers will be in the shadow of Lukaku, and Kone looks like he's injured, so if you fancy jumping on the out of form Nikica Jelavic then you can get odds of 7/1. Ross Barkley has made a big impression at the start of the season so far, and if you think he's the man to get the ball in the back of the net first, then you can get 12/1 on that.
Overall, this game seems to have the air of a draw about it, with both teams possibly hoping that they don't lose rather than pushing for all the points. That said, expect Tottenham to dominate possession, even against Martinez's side, as they have done throughout the season so far. Their problem has been converting that to goals and getting in the right areas, and with Tim Howard in good form that may continue. It's going to be tight either way, and a special goal will be the difference maker we reckon.