Toffees, Bluebirds and Potters too big to miss

EvertonOne has to take a pure value approach to the final rounds of any domestic football competition and the English Premier League throws up several of those bets this weekend.

Top of the list is Everton, which is trading at absurd odds for its English Premier League home match versus Manchester City. Yes, Manchester City will almost certainly regain the title if it wins its three games but it is not as if Everton has nothing for which to play and then there is the matter of the respective away and home records of the two teams.

Everton’s English Premier League home numbers of 13 wins, three draws and two losses is the division’s fourth best and, also, the Toffees have earned 11 more points at home than Manchester City has earned on its travels. Manchester City has won nine of its 18 English Premier League away matches but none of its road victories were against the other sides in the hunt for UEFA Champions League spots.

There is no way that Everton should be such a rank outsider for its penultimate English Premier League game. Everton has risen to the challenge in all its big Goodison Park matches this season, only experiencing defeat when it got ahead of itself versus Crystal Palace, Sunderland and Wigan. Everton has no reason to take its foot off the gas because it could still overtake Arsenal for fourth place and the Toffees have the advantage of playing 20 hours before the Gunners. Fourth place is Arsenal’s to lose but Everton can apply pressure.

Even if one cannot bring oneself to back Everton to defeat a Manchester City team that is three wins away from ending an uneventful season on a massive high, one should be unable to leave alone BetVictor‘s odds of 2.20 about the Toffees on the double-chance market that covers home win and draw.

Another English Premier League side that is attractively priced is bottom-of-the-ladder Cardiff, which could drop out of the top flight this weekend if a series of results go against it. Cardiff’s assignment is Newcastle at St James’ Park and the Magpies are in worse form than the Bluebirds.

Newcastle has lost each of its last six English Premier League games and it was abject in its 0-3 loss at Arsenal last time out. One can trace Newcastle’s decline to Yohan Cabaye’s departure during the January transfer window and, since then, the Magpies have been in relegation form.

It would appear that Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is a dead manager walking because the Magpies are getting worse and their players do not look like they are playing for their gaffer. Cardiff is a limited team – it is in the cellar, after all – but the Bluebirds have more for which to play than Newcastle and they believe in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Cardiff is available at odds of 4.00 with 888sport and Coral to repeat its English FA Cup away defeat of Newcastle from the beginning of Solskjaer’s reign. One thinks that anything less than three points will condemn Cardiff to the English Championship so back it to win.

StokeFinally, Stoke is well overpriced at odds of 2.25 with Bet365 to dent Fulham‘s chance of staying in the English Premier League. Stoke has been one of the unheralded English Premier League success stories this season, Mark Hughes taking over the reins from Tony Pulis and making the Potters so much easier to like as a neutral fan. Stoke has won nine and drawn six of its 18 English Premier League home matches and, if it was entertaining Fulham at the Britannia Stadium at another stage of the campaign, it would be listed at odds on across the board.

Fulham will be busting its gut to earn three English Premier League points at Stoke but it has been busting its gut ever since Felix Magath arrived and the only three sides that it has beaten since the German took over are Newcastle at home, Aston Villa away and Norwich at home – the Magpies, the Villans and the Canaries are bottom, bottom but one and bottom but two on the division’s six-game form ladder.

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