Everton v Stoke City will provide quite a few interesting betting tips with Everton hoping to continue their strong start to the new season as they entertain Stoke City on Saturday afternoon at Goodison Park.
The Toffees fine win at The Hawthorns last week followed up a promising opening day draw against Tottenham, with the good news continuing by new manager Ronald Koeman announcing that star striker Romelu Lukaku wished to remain at the club.
New signings Ashley Williams and Yannick Bolasie both made their debuts off the bench in last Saturday’s win and the pair will be hoping for a starting place against Stoke.
The Potters early-season optimism was cut short last Saturday with a 4-1 thrashing at home to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side. Stoke could count themselves unlucky not to have been given a first-half penalty and the match was close until the 85th minute, but it exposed some old demons for Mark Hughes’ side.
That match extended their terrible defensive record in 2016 – they have conceded 23 goals in their last nine league outings, and have kept only one clean sheet in their last 18. It is perhaps surprising that they have not strengthened this department over summer and have further suffered due to Jack Butland’s injury lay-off since March.
The corresponding fixture last season resulted in a pulsating win for the visitors – pulling off a 4-3 victory, although Hughes’ men have won only two Premier League away matches in the calendar year and Everton secured revenge in February with a comprehensive 3-0 victory at the bet365 stadium.
Stoke have trailed at half time in both of their Premier League matches this season and will start as underdogs against Koeman’s men, for whom will confidence will be high especially with new signings and Lukaku’s commitment reviving optimism. Odds of Everton to lead at half time and win the match are available at 7/4.
Despite their defensive vulnerabilities, Stoke have found the back of the net in each of their last five league outings and the Toffees have kept only two clean sheets since their trip to Stoke on 6th February, 15 matches ago. A second successive 2-1 win for Everton is priced at 8/1, offering good value.
Bolasie and Williams will both be vying for first starts at their new club, while Lukaku will likely be reintroduced to the starting line-up. The visitors will be hoping that Butland will be fit enough to start for the first time in five month, while they are also hopeful Xherdan Shaqiri will be available after missing the Manchester City defeat.