Premier League local derbies to end all square
Everton’s new attacking ethos sees them overpriced for a long awaited Anfield win in the Merseyside derby
Everton has not won at Anfield since 1999, failing to beat Liverpool on each of its last 14 trips across Stanley Park, but bookmakers are reading too much into largely irrelevant history with their markets on the latest Merseyside derby.
The negative approach to big games of former Everton manager David Moyes contributed greatly to the Toffees not beating Liverpool in front of The Kop but Roberto Martinez is a different character to the current Manchester United boss and the Spaniard will not send out Everton to play safe.
Everton is likely to give as good as it gets at Anfield and, with only one point separating Liverpool and the Toffees on the English Premier League ladder – not to forget that the Blues have lost just twice in the top flight – bookmakers are showing far too little respect to Martinez’s team.
One can back Everton at odds of 4.50 with many bookmakers, including 888sport, while a draw is trading at odds of 3.90 with Bet365 and BetVictor. Certainly odds of 3.90 about the fourth Merseyside derby in a row ending level appeal more than those of 1.85 about Liverpool defeating Everton and, with the Toffees likely to throw caution to the wind under Martinez more than they ever did under Moyes, backing either Everton not to lose at odds of 2.06 with 888, or Everton draw no bet at odds of 3.40 with the same bookmakers are possible plays.
Liverpool has dropped only five English Premier League home points and Everton’s away record in the top flight is four wins, six draws and one losses so, of the aforementioned bets, the one that grabs one most is 3.90 about a draw.
Another massive English Premier League derby in which one point apiece would not shock anyone is the match between Aston Villa and West Bromwich at Villa Park. Football fans from outside the midlands could be forgiven for thinking that Aston Villa’s main rival is Birmingham and West Bromwich’s main rival is Wolverhampton. However, for decades Aston Villa and West Bromwich reserved their hatred for each other and it was only when the Baggies spent time in a different division to the Villans that Albion’s rivalry with Wolverhampton reached boiling point. Historically, this is the derby that means most to both sets of supporters.
Each of the last four English Premier League games between Aston Villa and West Bromwich has ended all square. Aston Villa’s home record of two wins, two draws and seven losses is the equal worst in the top flight and, while no-one will be rushing to back the Villans, one can say the same about West Bromwich given that the Baggies have won one, drawn six and lost four of their 11 matches away from The Hawthorns.
Bet365 and Coral.co.uk are offering odds of 3.40 about Aston Villa and West Bromwich sharing the spoils at Villa Park. A draw is the outsider of the three game betting options even though most fans would tip that outcome.
Finally, Sunderland’s English Capital One Cup exploits and its fairly good English Premier League form means that the Black Cats are attractive at odds of 2.15 to get the better of fellow struggler Stoke at the Stadium of the Light.
Sunderland’s confidence must be at an all-season high after it qualified for the English Capital One Cup final and the Black Cats are ninth on the English Premier League ladder over the last six matches. Stoke has been a softer touch away from home under Mark Hughes than it was under Tony Pulis, plus the Potters have not beaten a top-flight side since edging out Aston Villa 2-1 just before Christmas.
The clincher is that Sunderland’s English Premier League home numbers, while terrible, are improving under Gus Poyet and they still rate better than the away numbers of Stoke. Sunderland has won two, drawn two and lost seven of its 11 home games, whereas Stoke has won one, drawn two and lost eight of its 11 away matches. Stoke is not as physical as it was 12 months ago and that is hurting its ability to grind out positive results away from its Britannia Stadium.