Fine form and struggling favourites make Everton great value bet

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No other Premier League side can match Everton for form right now, with the Toffees having taken 13 points from their last five Premier League games. And with several of the sides above them beginning to seriously stumble, now looks the time to back the Toffees in the outright markets.

Ronald Koeman’s men were sensational against Bournemouth last weekend, chalking up a blistering 6-3 victory over the Cherries – the first time the south coast outfit had shipped six in a game since October 2013.

Central to that was Romelu Lukaku, who netted a fantastic foursome to take his total to eight goals in his last eight games.

With the Belgian continuing to go from strength to strength at Goodison Park, he’s now arguably the league’s toughest opponent. But it’s perhaps the Toffees’ midfield which will be exciting Koeman most right now.

The 3-5-2 system implemented by the Dutch gaffer has been paying dividends for some time now, but with Morgan Schneiderlin now slotting in to replace Gareth Barry, the Schneiderlin-Tom Davies-Ross Barkley trio in the centre of midfield looks to have the perfect balance of experience, dynamism and creativity.

Talking of Schneiderlin, he’s one of two excellent bits of business done by Koeman in January. While the clubs just above them have had quite Januarys, the Toffees boss has brought in a top-class midfielder, and one of English football’s finest young talents – in the form of winger Ademola Lookman.

The latter announced himself with a goal in the 4-0 drubbing of Manchester City last month – Pep Guardiola’s heaviest ever domestic defeat as a manager. And talking of the Citizens, they’re one of a number of sides battling for a top-four spot who are currently off the boil.

Everton currently lie five points outside of the top six, with seven separating them from the top four. But that gap is closing with alarming speed, thanks to the likes of City, Arsenal and Liverpool suffering collapses in form. Between them, the trio have managed just 20 points in their last 15 Prem games combined.

With that in mind, it’s a real surprise to see the seventh-placed Toffees priced at 6/1 to break into the top six, with a massive 33/1 available for them to secure a top-four berth.

However, with a seemingly generous run of fixtures on the horizon, now is surely the time to back the Toffees to reach the top six – and possibly even secure a Champions League spot.

In their next five outings, Koeman’s charges face three of the current bottom six – Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Hull City.

Next up for Everton is that meeting with Boro at the Riverside on Saturday, with 21/20 for the Merseysiders to enjoy a fifth win in as many meetings with the Teesside outfit.

Do that, and the 6/1 for a top-six finish could quickly begin to tumble.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.