EPL betting preview: Sweet spot for Everton as Koeman makes his mark

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Updated: September 17, 2016

EPL featured betting preview: Everton (3-1-0, 10 pts) v Middlesbrough (1-2-1, 5 pts), Goodison Park, Liverpool, England; Sunday, September 18, 2.30am – latest EPL standings here

 

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The decision by the Everton Football Club to snatch Ronald Koeman from Southampton is already paying dividends. An undefeated start and third place on the table is a stark contrast to the closing months of Roberto Martinez’s reign. They turned in a flat first half against Sunderland on Monday so Koeman swapped Ross Barkley for Gerard Deulofeu (pictured below), who helped provide the spark for the Toffees before Romelu Lukaku nailed a hat-trick in just 11 minutes. That ended a run of 1139 minutes without a competitive goal for Lukaku in an Everton shirt.

Deulofeu dominated when Everton recently KOed Middlesbrough from the League Cup so may again be preferred to Barkley in this League clash between the sides. Midfielder Gareth Barry will make his 600th Premier League appearance – becoming only the third player to reach that milestone; only Frank Lampard (609) and Ryan Giggs (632) have made more – in this game while recent signing Enner Valencia could make his debut. Everton could win a fourth successive league game for the first time since a seven-match winning run in March-April 2014 with victory here. The Toffees are unbeaten in their past five home league fixtures (W3, D2).

 

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Boro’s return to the Premier League had started reasonably well before a 2-1 defeat to Fulham in the Cup, a 0-0 draw at West Brom and a 2-1 home defeat to hapless Crystal Palace. They actually look a decent side with solid professionals in the key positions: Brad Guzan or Victor Valdes in goal, Daniel Ayala in the heart of defence, Gaston Ramirez and Stewart Downing providing creativity in the middle and out wide and Alvaro Negredo (capped 21 times for Spain) offering power and goals upfront. However, they’ve managed just one clean sheet from five matches this season without playing any elite sides.

Middlesbrough pair Cristhian Stuani and Jordan Rhodes are doubts because of groin and knee problems respectively while injured trio James Husband, Fabio da Silva and Grant Leadbitter remain sidelined. Everton have only lost one of the past 11 league meetings (W6, D4). Boro have only scored five goals in those 11 matches. Middlesbrough’s last league win at Goodison Park came in May 2000 – Juninho and Brian Deane scored in that 2-0 victory. They are on a six-game unbeaten league run away from home (W3, D3). All four of Boro’s goals this season have come in the first half.

 

 

Confirmed bet (card finalised)

Everton -1/hcp v Middlesbrough (one unit @ $2.60)
Leicester City v Burnley -2.5/total (one unit @ $2.00)
West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United WIN (one unit @ $2.75)

 

Today’s other games

Hull City v Arsenal
Manchester City v Bournemouth

 

Most recent results: 1-3, -0.75 units; overall record: 9-8, +5.13 units

Manchester United v Manchester City DRAW (one unit @ $3.10) LOSE (1-2)
Bournemouth v West Bromwich Albion -1.5/total (one unit @ $2.75) WIN (1-0)
Burnley WIN v Hull City (one unit @ $2.50) LOSE (1-1)
Middlesbrough v Crystal Palace/correct score 0-0 (0.5 units @ $8.00) LOSE (1-2)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Bet365 (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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