Everton v West Ham: Banking on a replay looks the value play
While a run of four straight defeats may not yet put Roberto Martinez’s job under strenuous pressure, defeat to West Ham and an exit at the first hurdle of the FA Cup is only going to increase the spotlight on his under-fire charges.
The plummet in form has seen the Toffees fall six points behind Newcastle in 10th place, a position they should be aiming for as a bare minimum.
But with the league now taking a back seat, the Merseyside club look to get back on the road in the cup, but at even money in this form, they are simply unbackable.
Instead, Ladbrokes News’ Ben Stones has picked out three more appealing bets.
They may have only netted twice in their last four games, but Everton’s record at home has seen both teams find the net six times in nine matches.
And while that means the price is about right, it is West Ham’s recent away form that makes this a value pick.
Just once in their nine road-trips this season, have either the Hammers, or their opponents, failed to register.
The hosts may be in dire form, and the home win not tempting at all, but backing an AFCON-hit Hammers line-up for a win at 11/4 is pipped to the value stakes by the tie going to a replay.
Sam Allardyce’s men will be without the trio of Diafra Sakho, Alex Song and Cheikhou Kouyate as they head off to represent their respective countries, and while Everton will be forced into plenty of changes as well, their record at Goodison Park isn’t pretty reading.
December 2005 was the last time the east Londoners came away from the blue side of Stanley Park with a victory, and defeats there are commonplace.
But with the form of Martinez’s side, the draw looks to offer a far better price to take.
With top scorer Sakho off to Equatorial Guinea, the £12m summer signing can finally stake a claim for a regular starting place in the Irons line-up.
Relegated to the bench of late, Enner Valencia has started just two games since November 8.
But with three goals in 10 league starts since his capital switch, all of them on the road, he certainly knows where the back of the net is and will be a focal point for the Hammers front-line on Tuesday night.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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