For a while, Everton were something of a bogey team for Manchester City but on their way to the title last season, Manuel Pellegrini’s men saw off the Toffees twice and there’s no reason they shouldn’t continue that trend as the teams renew hostilities this weekend.
Bookmakers agree, BetVictor installing the champions as 3/5 favourites for the points while the visitors come in at 5/1 with William Hill and bet365 post 16/5 against Roberto Martinez’s charges hampering the hosts’ pursuit of Chelsea by grabbing a share of the spoils.
In their last travelling assignment, Everton were edged out by Tottenham and they can make City work just as hard for the victory in this one. Stan James’s 14/5 for a home win by a one-goal margin catches the eye then and as it looks likely that both teams will get on the scoresheet (4/7, Paddy Power), Pellegrini’s troops appear generously priced at 7/1 by Winner.com to prevail 2-1.
Elsewhere, the Toffees should be good enough to keep City at bay for long periods so BetVictor’s 15/4 for a home win following an even first period isn’t without appeal while in attack Sergio Aguero is the man the punters want to back, at 10/3 (Skybet), to notch first and it’s easy to see why given the Argentine’s form as well as the fact that he struck in both meetings between the two last term.
The tough fixtures keep coming thick and fast for Southampton, who welcome Manchester United to St Mary’s Stadium on Monday and Stan James makes Saints 7/4 to rise to the challenge by emerging triumphant. However, the rejuvenated Red Devils are in confident mood at present and they’re an enticing 12/5 (Ladbrokes) to make the long journey home with a point.
At the Britannia Stadium, Arsenal tempt at 21/20 with Skybet to overcome Stoke and the Gunners’ North London rivals Tottenham should also secure a maximum haul at home to Crystal Palace, at odds of 4/7 courtesy of BetVictor. Ladbrokes meanwhile, offer the duo at a tasty 11/5 in a double.
It should be close as West Ham take on Swansea but William Hill rightly rate the Hammers as their narrow, 29/20 favourites and the same firm chalk 23/20 against QPR in their crucial bottom-of-the-table showdown with Burnley.
The odds suggest things are a touch more cut-and-dried at Anfield, where bet365 mark 8/15 against Liverpool defeating Sunderland, Hull are 7/5 via BetVictor to sneak it against West Brom and Stan James make Aston Villa and Leicester 12/5 to be inseparable.
Man City to beat Everton by one – 14/5 (Stan James)
Sergio Aguero to score first – 10/3 (Skybet)
Arsenal and Tottenham double – 11/5 (Ladbrokes)
QPR, West Ham and Hull treble – 11/1 (BetVictor)
Southampton and Man Utd to draw – 12/5 (Ladbrokes)