Price Boost: Out-of-sorts Everton striker gets first-odds hike

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Everton hosting West Ham in the FA Cup is one of two games to conclude the third-round fixtures on Tuesday night and is a chance for Toffees boss Roberto Martinez to gather some much needed momentum, should he pick a full-strength side.

The Goodison Park side have lost four games on the spin, while winning just one of their last nine in all competitions before welcoming Sam Allardyce’s Hammers to Merseyside, with Ladbrokes pricing them up as 1/1 favourites for victory.

Should they return to winning ways, then it’s likely that Romelu Lukaku, the club’s leading striker, will have to improve his recent goal drought, having gone six games without so much as a sniff of a celebration.

Those who think the Belgian’s troubles in front of goal are linked with his side’s poor form and forsee a change in fortunes for both will surely receive the news that Ladbrokes have boosted the former Chelsea man to score the game’s first goal with open arms.

From 9/2 previously, the bookie has stretched the odds on the 21-year-old hitting the back of the net first to 11/2, something he has managed five times in the seven goals he has scored so far this term.

That Lukaku has managed more goals at home this season (four of the seven) adds further confidence to any flutter made on the Belgian, while the player’s three goals, two of them deadlock-breakers, in five previous appearances against West Ham in his career should be the icing on top of the cake for potential punters.

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.