Wolves v Everton
Live on Sky Sports Premier League
Wolves struggling for consistency
Wolves have struggled to match their consistency from the last two years so far this season. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are currently 13th in the Premier League and they look as if they will have their work cut out to match their seventh-placed finish from the last two campaigns. The departure of striker Diogo Jota to Liverpool and Raul Jimenez’s fractured skull, suffered against Arsenal, which has kept him out of action since November, have certainly weakened their team.
The side have gone four league games without a victory since beating Chelsea in the middle of December. Wolves squandered a 3-1 lead at Brighton at the start of this month, as they were held to a frustrating 3-3 draw. But Wanderers progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup after winger Adama Traore, who has been a disappointment this season, scored in the 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace on Friday.
Everton on course to challenge for Europe
Everton are making encouraging progress under Carlo Ancelotti with the club’s decision to back him in the transfer market paying off. The arrival of James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure has added depth and quality to their midfield. Dominic Calvert-Lewin started the season in sensational form with the striker scoring 11 Premier League goals.
The Toffees are seventh in the league but only four points off league leaders Liverpool. Qualifying for Europe looks a realistic target for Everton.
Ancelotti’s side disappointed in their 1-0 new year defeat at home to West Ham and they were made to work hard for their 2-1 extra time win over Rotherham on Saturday in the FA Cup. But the return to fitness of playmaker Rodriguez is a boost after he played against the Millers.
Wolves are 2.68/5 favourites and the hosts can easily be swerved at cramped odds. Without a win in the league for four games, Wolves have not been reliable enough this season. The side have just six wins from 17 matches and carry no appeal for this match.
Everton are 3.211/5 for the win and the visitors look well worth backing. Ancelotti’s side actually have a better record away than at home this season with five victories in the league and they are bidding to win their third successive match on the road. Everton are seven points ahead of their opponents with a game in hand and it is hard to see why they are a bigger price than Wolves.
The draw is available at 3.39/4 and certainly merits consideration. Two of Wolves’ last three league outings have ended in a draw and there is a chance the sides cancel each other out. But Everton have been impressive this season, especially away from home, so the visitors deserve support. Taking Everton, with the draw no bet in case there is a stalemate, stands out at 11/10.
Anyone expecting a high-scoring clash may be disappointed with Everton proving difficult to break down on the road. The Toffees have kept clean sheets in their last two away games and have only conceded eight goals in as many games. Only three teams have a better defensive away record than Everton, indicating Wolves could find it hard to create openings.
Wolves have hardly been prolific either, scoring just nine goals in eight home matches. Their defence have only conceded eight goals at Molineux with five of their matches producing under three goals. Using Betfair’s Same Game Multi, combining Everton in the double chance market and under 2.5 goals increases the odds to 2.19 which looks worth a second glance.
Only Sheffield United are on a longer current run of Premier League games without a clean sheet than Wolves (10), with the team conceding the first goal in nine of these 10 games. Wolves are 7/4 to end this run with a shutout.
Follow Simon’s bets on Twitter @watfordtipster