With a top-four finish looking unlikely there's every reason to think Everton will put all their efforts into a successful cup run, says Lee Dixon
Everton suffered a last minute shocker for the second weekend running but I'm backing them to exorcise those demons against Oldham on Tuesday night.
The Toffees have conceded goals at the death twice in succession now, with Norwich's Grant Holt doing on Saturday what Matt Smith did for Oldham in the cup the previous weekend.
That suggests Everton are starting to slide and, while they may be feeling the effects of having a small squad, you have to fancy David Moyes' team to get the better of their League One opponents on Tuesday night. I've tried to make a case for Oldham but I just can't do it. And, yes, before you post a comment I do know that this is the third time I've written that!
Betfair layers are similarly unconvinced taking no chances on the Toffees with the home side priced at 1.171/6, the draw 9.617/2 and Oldham way out at 20.019/1. Short odds for a side that has won just six of 13 league home games...
Oldham enjoyed some success against Everton with their direct play and there's every reason to think it'll work again. For a top-six team, Everton are far too porous - they've kept just four clean sheets in the league - and I think the underdogs can score again. Given Everton boast two current and one former England internationals, and the USA keeper among their defence you'd expect better. At 1.834/5 you won't find me backing the home clean sheet.
The Latics are in good form at the moment with two wins following the 2-2 draw with Everton, but beyond that it's hard to find a reason for backing them even at crazy odds. It could be that changing the manager has made a difference to the team but the fact remains that there are still 57 places separating these two in the table. Class should tell.
After a pair of disappointing results I'm pretty sure that Moyes will have torn a strip off his players and will be targeting the cup as his best chance of having a successful season at Goodison. I'm still happy with my wager on Everton to win the tournament, the draw has been kind provided they get through this and I still fancy them to put on a performance in a one-off match against any team.
Rather than take a very short price on the home win on Tuesday night, and given I'm confident Oldham can find the back of the net, I will back a couple of scorelines at nice prices. Everton rarely score heavily so 2-1 @ 12.011/1 and 3-1 @ 13.012/1 will do the trick for me.
Back 2-1 @ 12.011/1 and 3-1 @ 13.012/1