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Stuart Dalgleish 6th Mar 2010 - 14:37

Toffees to get stuck in to another three points

Everton's (2/5) home form has been excellent recently, and should they get the expected win against Hull (8/1, the draw is 16/5) they can put themselves in with a great shout of a place in next season's Europa League.

You have to think it's a no-brainer that they'll defeat Phil Brown's side on Sunday afternoon; the Toffees have won their last five at home and suffered just one Premier League defeat in 13 Goodison Park outings, while the Tigers have won only one league game home or away in the last 13.

Much like last season, it looks set to be another fight to the finish for Hull as they aim to provide their fans with a 3rd straight season of Premier League football. They should have a good chance of survival as after their next two games (Everton away and Arsenal at home) they have a run of fixtures that on paper look winnable, of course it isn't as easy as that when you get on to the pitch though.

As indeed the Tigers have found out, the sequence of games they are going through at the minute has seen them play against some teams that they would've hoped to do better against, such as Blackburn and West Ham where they lost without scoring in either game, and yet they have taken points against Tottenham, Chelsea and Man City in the last couple of weeks

It must really frustrate Brown, as while he will be pleased to see his team do well against some of the Premier League's big guns and it provides the Hull fans with some great memories, it's the games against teams in and around the bottom three that will count the most at the end of the season, and that's where City have to start doing better.

Around the time the teams met in November, Everton were one of those sides in the bottom half of the table and they came undone at the KC Stadium where the hosts won 3-2, but the clubs have had very different fortunes since then; Hull have won just one of the following 13 league games while Everton have suffered defeat just three times in their 14 ensuing Premier League fixtures.

Both managers are getting some of their key men back for the run-in, David Moyes will hope to have Tim Cahill (5/1 first goal) in his squad after the Aussie missed the last three games with a calf injury but Phil Jagielka (25/1) and Leon Osman (12/1) are both doubts for the match.

Louis Saha will miss out with a thigh injury so the hosts are likely to line-up with Yakubu (7/2) and Landon Donovan (5/1) upfront, the American will be playing his last game at Goodison before returning to the LA Galaxy after a successful loan spell.

Brown should be able to pick three of his best players, the almost permanently injured Jimmy Bullard (14/1), set-piece specialist Geovanni (11/1) and Irish ace Stephen Hunt (16/1), who's chipped in with six goals this season and could be worth consideration for the first of the match, he's 6/1 just to get on the scoresheet.

Craig Fagan is suspended so Nick Barmby (12/1) will be pushing for a start in his midfield place, while Anthony Gardner is out for around six weeks with an ankle injury.

Hull have failed to score in eight of their last 10 Premier League away games, including the last four straight, and Everton have bagged at least two goals in their last five matches (one of them in 1964!) against City; with those stats in mind 2-0 and 3-0 to the hosts at 4/1 and 6/1 respectively look good shouts, perhaps a better possibility is Everton in the To Win To Nil market at 3/4. Hull are a whopping 10/1 in the same market, but I'd be very surprised if that came true.

If you just think the hosts will win and you're not willing to risk a correct score then they are 2/5 in the 90 minutes market, the draw is 16/5 and Hull are huge outsiders at 8/1.

Don't forget you can join us to bet In-Play on a huge range of markets in this crucial match.


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