Everton 1.695/7 v Sheffield United 6.25/1; The Draw 3.953/1
Saturday 21 September, 15:00
Everton fail to take advantage of favourable schedule
With the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United struggling to find consistency, the opportunity is there for an outsider to gatecrash the top six, but so far it doesn't seem likely that Everton will be forcing their way in.
The Toffees have proved to be frustratingly erratic. Though they have won both of their home games, they have yet to win on the road (P3 D1 L2), despite facing seemingly beatable opposition in the shape of Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Bournemouth.
Pre-season, much was made of Everton's favourable start, so it is worrying that they have been dropping points with such regularity. After starting the season with two consecutive clean sheets, they have conceded seven goals in their last three matches. With much tougher fixtures to come in the winter months, you wonder how Everton will cope, especially as there is no real depth in central defence should either Michael Keane or Yerry Mina pick up an injury.
For now they remain fit, but Marco Silva will be without the injured Jonas Lossl, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Andre Gomes. Richarlison is also a doubt with a thigh problem.
Pressures of life at the top all too apparent for new boys
It's been by no means a disastrous start for Sheffield United (P5 W1 D2 L2), but it's a measure of the challenge that the Premier League presents that they remain only a point clear of the relegation zone.
If the Blades are to survive, their home form is going to have to improve. They won their first game at Bramall Lane against Crystal Palace, but have since lost at home to Leicester and Southampton. Fortunately their away record has been surprisingly good, claiming valuable points on the road with draws at Bournemouth and Chelsea.
A quick look at the fixtures to come, again highlights the difficulty of Sheffield United's task. Before the end of October they have this difficult away day at Everton, a Watford side desperate for points and West Ham. Their home games during the period see them host Liverpool and then Arsenal.
Billy Sharp is suspended having been sent off in the defeat to Southampton last weekend. The other player who could be unavailable to Chris Wilder is Bryan Kean, who has been out with an ankle injury.
Blades can cut through Everton defence
Everton are the favourites at 1.695/7, with the draw at 3.953/1 and Sheffield United at 6.25/1.
It's a match that Everton should win, but there are doubts at this price when you consider their recent defensive displays and Sheffield United's spirited away form. Sheffield United failed to score last weekend, but that was their first blank since winning promotion and their two previous away games have seen them score a total of three goals.
Everton have a good record of keeping home clean sheets, but overall they are conceding a lot, with no other club letting in more goals from set-pieces than the Toffees since Marco Silva took over. An Everton win and both teams to score is 3.814/5.
Iwobi worth a chance at inflated odds
Richarlison is the favourite to score at 2.727/4, but with his fitness in question, Everton may need someone else to step up. Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored against Bournemouth and is the joint second favourite at 3.02/1 with Gylfi Sigurdsson, but is far from prolific.
Instead take a chance on Alex Iwobi finding the net at 5.49/2. The Nigerian was not a regular scorer himself during his years at Arsenal, yet has already notched two goals in four games for Everton.