Everton arrive in the north east as the favourites to win their Capital One Cup tie against Middlesbrough, although the form book suggests they don’t really deserve the tag.
Roberto Martinez has seen his side win just twice inside the last eight sets of 90 minutes, earning their spot in this competition’s fifth round thanks to a penalty shootout win over Norwich.
Their hosts, on the other hand, have secured victory five times in their own last eight matches and knocked out Manchester United via penalties in the last round to set up this clash. They can be backed at 9/5 to claim another Premier League scalp.
Aitor Karanka’s side are built on defensive stability and last season’s meanest Championship defence are currently the division’s second-most stingy so far this term.
Boro have kept a clean sheet in their last two outings and have only been breached once in the previous six all-competition appearances. They can be backed at 12/5 to keep their sheets clean against Everton and 15/4 to win to nil.
Their run of stability includes the goalless draw they earned in regular time against Louis van Gaal’s giants in the last Capital One Cup round.
As a result of their frugality, answering “no” to the age-old betting question: Will both teams score? has landed with regularity for the Riverside club.
Only once in the past 12 games have both sides celebrated a goal and the current streak stands at six. Ladbrokes go 10/11 that the run is extended to a sixth match.
Few sides can boast the kind of free-scoring form that Everton find themselves in though. Over the course of their last four matches the Goodison Park side has scored six against Sunderland, slotted four past Aston Villa and netted three times most recently against Bournemouth.
They are given odds of 11/8 to break down the Boro rearguard and score over 1.5 team goals on Tuesday night.
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