English Premier League

Everton v Nottingham Forest: Back set-piece threats at 17/1 and 13/1

Everton boss Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche will be looking to set-pieces

Dave Tindall is looking to Everton's big defenders for his best bets against Nottingham Forest on Sunday afternoon...


Everton v Nottingham Forest
Sunday April 21, 13:30
Live on Sky Sports Main Event

Everton need to bounce back

"A collective down day," said Sean Dyche after Everton were absolutely gubbed 6-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday night. "There were too many players off the mark." You can say that again.

Dyche had never conceded six goals in a Premier League game in his previous 307 matches as a manager and it did seem somewhat freakish given that before that hammering, only the top three had conceded fewer away goals than Everton.

Five road wins is a decent amount but it's the home form that Everton must sort out as only the bottom two have won fewer than the Toffees' four. At least one of those came last time out via a 1-0 success over Burnley, their only Premier League win since beating the same opposition a whopping four months ago.

That horrid run since mid-December combined with the eight-point deduction means the Merseysiders remains in massive relegation trouble - as, of course, do Sunday's rivals.

Forest under pressure

Forest are the other unwanted members of this "points deduction derby". Their punishment was four points - half the number taken off Everton - but it could still prove the difference.

As it stands, Nuno Espirito Santo's side are a point behind Everton, who have a game in hand so losing here really will be a heavy blow.

Going into the weekend, Luton remained odds-on favourites in the relegation betting at 1.715/7 with Forest at 3.39/4 and Everton at 6.411/2. A positive outcome either way on Sunday and that market will be shaken up again.

With just two away wins and 10 defeats, following Forest on the road has been a pretty miserable experience for their fans. Another loss here will be a particular body blow.

Everton looking for rare double

Everton beat Forest in the first meeting this season, Dwight McNeil's 67th-minute strike settling that early-December contest at the City Ground.

In the outright market, Everton are 2.111/10 to complete their first league double over the Trees since 1997. Forest, who have won one and drawn one of their last two trips to Goodison are 3.8514/5, marginally bigger than the draw price of 3.613/5.

Match Preview

Everton - Nottm Forest
Everton
  1. L
  2. W
  3. D
  4. W
  5. W
  6. W
Nottm Forest
  1. W
  2. L
  3. W
  4. L
  5. L
  6. D
Full Stats Powered by Opta

It's hard to muster much enthusiasm for either team. Everton have won just one of their last 15 top-flight games and Forest have been terrible on the road over the last couple of campaigns.

Better to look elsewhere for the best bets.

Set-pieces could be key for Toffees

Sean Dyche has always known the value of set-pieces and you can imagine he'll put be putting even greater emphasis on it during his prep for this one.

Why? Here's a stat from Opta: Forest have conceded the highest total goals (25) and highest percentage (43%) of goals from set-pieces this term.

That info needs to be used in conjuction with Friday's press conference in which Dyche said doubtful duo Jarrad Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin had trained. "We were light today but both trained light and came through it, so we hope there is no reaction to that."

Those two are Everton's biggest threats from free-kicks and corners but I'd be more confident of Branthwaite starting given Calvert-Lewin's history.

With two goals in his last 10 Premier League games, the big Cumbrian defender is worth an anytime scorer bet at 13/114.00.

Back Jarrad Branthwaite to score anytime @ 13/114.00

Bet here

Sticking with dead-ball situations, one Everton ploy is to pick out the other centre-back, James Tarkowski, for either a header on goal or a knockback for someone else.

If Everton's gameplan is built on Forest's vulnerability at set-pieces, it's also worth a speculative punt on a Tarkowski assist at 17/118.00.

Back James Tarkowski to assist @ 17/118.00

Bet here

For a Bet Builder, I'd lean towards Everton tightening up at the back following the Chelsea hammering.

A Branthwaite strike and Under 2.5 Goals pays just over 50/151.00.


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