Lukaku at the double? Man City v Everton Betting Preview
Once again, Manchester City were shown to be out of their depth against top level opposition in the UEFA Champions League, losing 3-1 at home to defending champions Bayern Munich last Wednesday evening. With a Premier League game against Everton in their sights, can City rebound by beating the Toffeemen?
As many of you will know, historically, Manchester City (4/6) have struggled to beat Everton (9/2) in recent years, winning only one of the last six head to head matches. But, psychological advantages and disadvantages for players who've featured in these fixtures before aside, what does all this count for with regards to today's game?
Well, given that City endured far more changes to their coaching and playing positions in, say, the last four years and that very little changed at Everton over that period, you could argue that Everton's dominance was largely down to the organisational and motivational skills of David Moyes.
Of course, Moyes has now moved to Manchester United - and they were recently thrashed 4-1 by their hated rivals, Manchester City, which pours scorn on the Scotsman's influence being a factor in City v Everton games.
However, Moyes has clearly yet to stamp his authority, tactical ideas and general influence at Old Trafford, and the Red Devils have consequently lost a lot more games than you'd' expect them to have done at this stage of the season. Therefore, my guess is that Moyes played a large part in Everton success against City.
The new Everton manager, Roberto Martinez, after a slow start containing draws away to Norwich and at home to West Brom, has since seen draws become wins, with the Merseyside club having won three Premier League games in a row: 1-0 at home to Chelsea, 3-2 away to West Ham and 3-2 at home to Newcastle. Impressively, Martinez is undefeated as Everton manager in the Premier League.
All in all, for betting purposes, I'm viewing this as a clean slate for Man City when facing Everton, but I'm not willing to risk backing Pellegrini's boys at 4/6, especially when they played midweek and are hosting an undefeated team.
Instead, with three of City's four league home games containing at least three goals in each, two of Everton's three road games also passing the over 2.5 goals mark and the on-loan Belgian striker Lukaku being in red-hot form with six goals in his last five Premier League games, over 2.5 goals looks like the best bet.
However, as is the case with both teams to score at 4/6, it's a little short for me to recommend now that it's been backed into 13/20 and I'll leave it up to you to decide if you can accept such a price.
Pricewise, what I think you will be able to accept is a punt on Lukaku to score anytime at 11/4. That's super, super value given his form - and I'm on.
Tying in with the above, our latest Opta Offer is Lukaku to score two or more goals at a staggeringly big 20/1, while our Headline Offers are Aguero to score and City to win at 5/2, and Lukaku to score and Everton to win at 11/1.
Recommendation: Lukaku anytime scorer (11/4)