Everton’s injury crisis to see Man City vanquish Goodison hoodoo
Often in football there are seemingly inexplicable historical trends concerning a team’s record at a certain ground and one such case is travelling Manchester City sides going to jelly when Goodison Park comes into view.
Whether or not you care about the destination of the Premier League title, the discerning footy enthusiast will be aware of the stakes involved when Everton entertain City in Saturday’s televised teatime kick-off.
A win for City – rated at odds of 3/4 – over the Toffees doesn’t guarantee them the title, but with two perceived gimmies at the Etihad to follow against Aston Villa and West Ham, it would certainly put one hand on the trophy.
But, the shrewd punter will also be aware that the title-hungry Citizens couldn’t have picked a more inhospitable Premier League venue than Goodison to further their cause, as they’ve lost on their last four top-flight visits.
Furthermore, the Sky Blues have only actually triumphed once in 15 visits to Everton’s gaff, giving punters plenty of reason to get excited about the 10/3 on offer for a home win or even the 14/5 compromise about the draw.
And had Roberto Martinez’ team not left themselves a mountain to climb to trump Arsenal to fourth with two to play, and the Spaniard had a fully fit squad to select from, then that price on a home win would be irresistible.
Sadly for Toffees fans though (and Liverpool’s for that matter) Martinez’ squad is littered with injuries which is set to be the deciding factor here.
Even if regular first-choice centre-back pairing of Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin are deemed fit, both will be very rusty after lengthy lay-offs.
Add to this that Leighton Baines is a major doubt and creative forces Kevin Mirallas and Steven Pienaar have been ruled out, then a City side who have scored in every one of their last ten league games should find plenty of joy.
Meanwhile, Manuel Pellegrini has no new injury concerns since seeing off Crystal Palace and may even get the added bonus of a returning David Silva.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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