Simon Mail previews Everton's Premier League clash with West Brom and expects the hosts' top scorer to find the net again...
"A better alternative could be to side with the game's most prolific finisher finding the net. Romelu Lukaku has enjoyed a superb season for Everton with 20 goals in 33 matches."
Everton 1.558/15 v West Brom 7.613/2; The Draw 4.3100/30
It has been a frustrating season for Everton fans with their team's inconsistency stalling their progress in the Premier League. Roberto Martinez's side suffered recent disappointment after their Capital One Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City. But the Toffees are still in the FA Cup and the recent signs have hinted at a strong finish to the league campaign.
Their lack of consistency has seen them wait until this month to post back-to-back wins in the league. Everton have struggled at home in particular this season but brushed aside Newcastle 3-0 at Goodison Park earlier in the month and backed this up with a dominant win by the same scoreline at Stoke last week. In fact, this was their third successive 3-0 victory in all competitions as they built up some much-needed momentum.
A run of five games without a win in the league has seen West Brom start to look over their shoulders. Tony Pulis' side are still not safe from relegation although they still have a five-point buffer over the bottom three in 14th place. The Baggies are coming under a bit of pressure and one of the sides drifting towards the wrong end of the table.
Their last league defeat at Newcastle United was described by Pulis as their worst away performance under him and there does appear to be a lack of confidence in the team. West Brom have not won away in the Premier League since October at Norwich and were forced to play 120 minutes of football at Peterborough on Wednesday before scraping through on penalties in their FA Cup replay.
Of course Everton are worthy favourites and appear well placed to take advantage of a fatigued and out of form West Brom team. But can the Toffees really be trusted to deliver at odds as short as 1.558/15? After all, Martinez's side have flattered to deceive all too often this season and won just four of their 13 home league games.
The hosts have just not been reliable enough to justify piling in at odds-on especially when you consider the last two meetings between the sides at Goodison Park have finished in 0-0 draws. West Brom are unfancied on the exchange at a drifting 7.613/2 and you can understand why after being overworked against the Posh in midweek and their poor recent run.
Three of the last five clashes between the teams has ended all square so there could be some interest in the draw at 4.3100/30 but there are enough doubts surrounding the visitors to put me off suggesting this bet. Ultimately nothing in the match market really screams value and it is worth looking elsewhere for a wager.
A better alternative could be to side with the game's most prolific finisher finding the net. Romelu Lukaku has enjoyed a superb season for Everton with 20 goals in 33 matches across all competitions. The former West Brom striker also has an impressive record against his old club with three goals in his last three appearances.
This included a brace in the 3-2 win at the Hawthorns in September. Lukaku can be expected to keep this run going in a team creating plenty of chances and the former Chelsea striker looks worth backing at 2.01/1 to net his 17th goal of the campaign and maintain his challenge to become the Premier League's top scorer this season.
Back Romelu Lukaku to score at 2.01/1
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Simon Mail 2015/16 Season P/L
Staked: 27 pts
Returned: 20.45 pts
P/L: -6.65 pts