Back Mata to open the scoring against Everton at boosted odds

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David Moyes returns to Goodison Park for the first time since leaving Everton’s dugout to marshal the troops at Manchester United. But, while all cameras are trained on the Scot, the eyes of first goalscorer backers should be fixed elsewhere.

The Red Devils’ January Spanish import, Juan Mata, has the honour of carrying the price boost flag for Ladbrokes during the Everton match, with his odds to nab the first goal out from 8/1 to a very plump 12s.

Having finally broken his United scoring duck in the home game against Aston Villa, Mata followed up with a brace against Newcastle last time out to announce his net-finding groove had well and truly been relocated.

In his final season with Chelsea, there wasn’t a more proficient midfielder for getting a game’s scoreboard into action as the former Valencia man, who struck the first goal of the game six times during the 2012/13 campaign.

That totalled half of his season’s tally and with his eye now in for Moyes’ side the double-figure odds of him finding the net first at Goodison are surely too long to ignore.

A win against his former side is a must for Moyes’ wafer thin credibility at Old Trafford and the stats suggest that scoring the first goal of the game is a must if his side are to achieve it.

United haven’t lost any of the 15 league games in which they’ve breached the opposition defences first, winning an impressive 13 of those and drawing the other two.

With Robin van Persie still out through injury, Mata is starting to make hay and it could well be he that helps turn the tide in Moyes’ favour. Just make sure you’re on him to do so at an incredibly generous price.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.