Toffees to put Martinez in a sticky position

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Goodison Park would not look out of place in an episode of M*A*S*H given Everton’s injury toll and one fancies that the Toffees they will come unstuck at home to Manchester City.

Everton finished fifth in its first English Premier League season under Roberto Martinez, whose degree in physiotherapy that he obtained while playing for Zaragoza in his native Spain should be coming in handy right now. But Everton is 13th on the English Premier League ladder after 20 rounds and, if it was not for the fact that Liverpool has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons this term, one is sure that Martinez would be under more pressure than he is. Even so, Martinez is near the summit of the betting on the next English Premier League manager to leave his post, something that seemed impossible just a few months ago.

Indebted to a 90th-minute Romelo Lukaku equaliser at home to fellow English Premier League team West Ham in the English FA Cup third round on Tuesday, Everton has defeated just Queens Park Rangers at home in its last 10 matches across all competitions and no-one needs telling that the Hoops have lost all nine of their English Premier League away games. Everton’s form is terrible and Manchester City’s quest to retain the English Premier League title demands that it gets three points at venues such as Goodison Park.

Yaya Toure, who scored Manchester City’s winning goal versus Everton at Etihad Stadium last month, is unavailable to the Citizens because he is on CAF Africa Cup of Nations duty in Equatorial Guinea with Cote d’Ivoire and he is not the only big-name visitor missing. However, Everton’s problems are much greater than those of Manchester City and one has to side with the Citizens at odds of -111  with BetVictor.

One thinks that the English Premier League ladder will have two teams on 49 points after 21 rounds because Chelsea ought to avenge its recent loss to Newcastle. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho should be able to name his strongest possible side for Newcastle’s visit to Stamford Bridge, whereas the Toon Army have a full team of starters sitting on the sidelines.

Anything less than a thumping Chelsea victory over Newcastle in what is something of an English Premier League salvage operation for the Blues – they do not take kindly to losing – would be a major surprise. Newcastle has lost each of its last four away matches across all competitions, going down by at least two goals in three of them. Chelsea minus one goal is trading at odds of -175  with several bookmakers, including Boylesports and Bwin, and that looks like the smartest play out of all the options that are available.

Good English Premier League results for Leicester, Tottenham and West Ham against Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Swansea would not surprise but one’s third English Premier League pick is Sunderland plus one goal at home to Liverpool.

Whenever one sees Liverpool posted at odds on away from home one’s first thought is to lay the Reds, who continue to be the most overrated side in the English Premier League. Why anyone would want to back Liverpool at odds on to win at one of the English Premier League’s most atmospheric venues is beyond comprehension because one can bet one’s bottom dollar that Sunderland will apply considerable pressure to the unconvincing defence of its opponent. Yes, Sunderland is not the most reliable of English Premier League conveyances but the odds that bookmakers are quoting are stupid – the Black Cats plus one goal are listed at odds of 1.91 with Bet365.

Finally, with regards to English Premier League exotics, the best approach may be to back West Ham to have more corner kicks than Swansea in their English Premier League clash at the Liberty Stadium. Obviously, one must wait for bookmakers to post markets but West Ham is averaging 6.50 corner kicks for and 5.25 corner kicks against in the English Premier League, whereas Swansea’s averages are 3.65 and 5.35 respectively. It does not hurt one’s selection one bit that Swansea striker Wilfried Bony is on international duty.

Tips Summary

Man City to beat Everton
10th January 15:00 GMT
Odds:  -111
Where to Bet: BetVictor

Chelsea to beat Newcastle
10th January 15:00 GMT
Odds:  -175
Where to Bet: BoylesportsBwin

Sunderland +1 to beat Liverpool
10th January 12:45 GMT
Odds:  -110
Where to Bet: Bet365

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