Take flight with the Toffees
All good things come to those who wait and we think David Moyes is about to enjoy his finest hour as Everton manager with victory over bitter rivals Liverpool at Wembley on Saturday.
The younger of the two touchline-hogging Glaswegians cut an extremely frustrated figure when his tenth anniversary as Goodison supremo was marked by a 3-0 defeat in the last Merseyside derby at Anfield, a game that was much more evenly-matched than the scoreline would suggest.
Steven Gerrard was the difference between the two sides on that occasion and while the matchball from that evening is a souvenir that the 31-year-old maestro will treasure for many years to come, we suspect the accompanying anecdote is merely a prelude to the bigger story that will unfold this season.
Back Everton to win the FA Cup at 4/1
You only had to witness the desire of the Toffees in their FA Cup quarter-final replay at Sunderland to understand how much Moyes and his players are gunning for revenge and we see no joy for the Reds this time around if Everton perform to the same standards.
Try as they might, Liverpool seem unable to produce the quality that's expected of them and though they managed to snatch a 3-2 win in the dying moments at struggling Blackburn on Monday to make a little more light of a miserable ten-match league sequence, their performance was some way short of reputation.
Put simply, Liverpool are lacking cohesion and Everton have spirit and togetherness in spades. They come into this tie in great form and now pose the kind of goal threat that Liverpool too often take for granted.
There are several ways that punters might wish to get with the Toffees. Odds of 2/1 about an Everton win inside 90 minutes appeal - we make them no better than 7/4 - but we also suspect they will be more than willing to play the waiting the game, if Liverpool also bring along an abundance of defensive discipline.
Back Everton to win 1-0 at 17/2
So the 11/10 or better on Everton to qualify is probably the best course of action for those coming into this cold, but we're going to back Everton to win the FA Cup at 4/1 as cover for the 8/1 outright wager we had on Tottenham before the third round back in January.
We stand to collect 18 points from that original bet but we're extremely wary of the threat the Toffees pose as seasoned top-half Premier League campaigners. We see Tottenham v Everton as the most likely final and you might wish to consider best odds of 10/3 on some 'name the finalists' markets, which works out better than the 3/1 double on both teams to qualify.
However, coming back to this particular game, we anticipate a cagey affair in the mould of most semi-finals and the 8/1 or better on Everton to win 1-0 is the standout bet on the fringe markets.
Best of the rest:
Liverpool v Everton
Under 1.5 goals at 11/4
Everton to win in 90 mins at 21/10
Everton to qualify at 23/20
Everton v Tottenham final at 10/3
- @MatthewStanger Valencia's ground is actually just Mestalla (name of barrio) but everyone outside Spain calls it 'the' Mestalla. — 2 hours 40 min ago
- @MatthewStanger My understanding, 'the' if named after somebody/thing (ex player, sponsors, etc) not if named by location (OT, Anfield, etc) — 2 hours 43 min ago
- @Squawka But only after celebrity Spain fan Manolo got his hands on one: http://t.co/db3lVmRl6Q — 2 hours 52 min ago
- @JoeBrewinFFT Well worth it mate. Sooner the better. — 3 hours 6 min ago
- @MarneBlair Online, via Amazon. Available in the shops any day, I believe. — 3 hours 9 min ago