Everton v Sheff Utd: Calvert-Lewin can sink Blades

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has eyes on Europe
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti

Everton have been poor at Goodison but Dave Tindall says Dominic Calvert-Lewin can guide them to victory over rock-bottom Sheffield United on Sunday evening...

"Calvert-Lewin has netted 25 times for club and country this season and it's worth noting that 16 of those have come at home."

Back Dominic Calvert-Lewin to score in a 1-0 win on Bet Builder at 16.015/1

Everton v Sheff Utd
Sunday, 19:00
Live on BT Sport 1

Goodison struggles matched elsewhere

One of the most notable things about Everton this season is just how poor they've been at home.

Neighbours Liverpool got enormous attention for losing all the time on their own patch but a look at the respective defeats columns shows that the Reds have lost six at home but Everton eight!

Add in four draws and Everton have won just five at home. That's just one more than Sunday's visitors, who are on the wrong end of one of the worst seasons in Premier League history.

And yet, Everton's story isn't unusual this season.

Third-placed Leicester have also lost eight times at home while Manchester United have been beaten six times at Old Trafford. Manchester City haven't been immune either and, remarkably, the top three have suffered six times as many home defeats (18 combined) as they have on the road (just three).

Everton start the weekend in eighth place due to their brilliant away form. With 11 road wins (only Man City have more) they're just two behind sixth-placed West Ham so European football is a definite target.

After this, they complete their season with a home match against Wolves and a trip to Man City on the final day so, basically, this is must-win territory if they want Europa League football next term.

Blades bowing out with a whimper

Already relegated, Sheffield United's season to forget is now at risk of becoming a record-breaking one but for all the wrong reasons.

They've already lost 28 times in the Premier League this season and defeat here would see them tie the record of 29 held by Ipswich in 1994-95, Sunderland in 2005-06 and Derby County in 2007-08.

Paul Heckingbottom hasn't been able to halt the slide since he came in during March and already in his brief stint they've suffered a 5-0 defeat at Leicester and a 4-0 loss at Spurs.

Add in the Yorkshireman's time at Barnsley and Leeds and he's lost 12 and drawn two of his last 14 away league matches in all divisions, failing to win one since New Year's Day 2018.

Of course, that away-day malaise isn't just down to him. Since football returned last June following the pandemic break, Sheffield United's record on their travels shows 19 defeats, three draws and just a single win: that's six points from a possible 69.

The pain is almost over at least and, after Goodison, they head to Newcastle in midweek and finish off with a home game against Burnley. Can the Blades advance their paltry tally of 17 points? It's hard to feel confident they will.

Everton short but remember the opposition

On one level, it seems foolish to back a team with just five home wins at long odds-on: Everton are 1.422/5 for the win.

On another, given that the visitors are so desperately poor on the road, that price seems fair enough.

Sheffield United are 9.417/2 to secure just their second away win of the season while The Draw is 5.14/1.

The quick conclusion is that the outright market makes little appeal. Everton will most likely win the game but it's hard to get involved at that price unless playing accas.

Everton won the first game 1-0 on Boxing Day via a late Gylfi Sigurdsson strike while they've won three of the last four head-to-heads at Goodison.

Unders has merit

Despite the rat-a-tat of defeats - Sheffield United have lost eight of the last nine - they have put up decent resistance in a fair amount of them.

Under 2.5 Goals is the outsider here at 2.0811/10 but that would have landed in three of the Blades' last four games - away to Wolves, home to Brighton and home to Crystal Palace.

Widen the lens and they've lost four of their last seven away games in all competitions either 1-0 or 2-0.

Everton matches have been good for Unders backers too. Go back to the 2-0 win at Anfield and 10 of their last 13 games have featured fewer than three goals.

The negative is that the three exceptions were at home and that includes a recent 2-1 loss to Aston Villa and a 2-2 draw with Spurs.

However, as is the pattern this season, those two visitors are decent on the road, something Sheffield United are most definitely not.

Calvert-Lewin a good Bet Builder option

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has scored twice in his last three Everton starts after playing just two matches in April due to injury.

With the Euros on the horizon he'll be desperate to impress Gareth Southgate and a double against San Marino in March's World Cup qualifier helped his cause.

Calvert-Lewin has netted 25 times for club and country this season and it's worth noting that 16 of those have come at home.

He's a Sheffield lad so will want a goal against his hometown/former club and this is obviously a golden opportunity.

Tying all the themes together - Sheffield United's poor away form, the relative lack of goals from both sides and DCL's good scoring numbers at home - and that leads me towards two bets on the Bet Builder:

Dominic Calvert Lewin to score in a 1-0 Everton win at 1615/1 and also in a 2-0 win at 9.417/2. Both seems generous odds.

Opta Stat

Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin - who played 12 times in all competitions for Sheffield United without scoring between April 2015 and August 2016 - has scored 16 Premier League goals this season without registering an assist; only Benni McCarthy in 2006-07 for Blackburn Rovers has scored more times without assisting a goal in a season in the competition (18 goals).

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