Arsenal favourites to reach Wembley at the expense of Everton

Mesut Özil puts Arsenal 1-0 up in the 1-1 draw at The Emirates in December

Mesut Özil puts Arsenal 1-0 up in the 1-1 draw at The Emirates in December

It’s FA Cup Quarter Final weekend this Saturday and Sunday as the final eight sides in the oldest and most prestigious club football competition in the world battle to play at Wembley in the Semi Finals and then, hopefully, the Final.

The four game schedule is kicked off on Saturday lunchtime with the clash of Arsenal v Everton at The Emirates in North London as the sides sitting third and sixth in the Premier League compete for a game in the final four stage. GR88.com favour a home win, but will The Gunners live up to this favourites billing?

Arsenal v Everton FA Cup Odds:

Arsenal – 1.79

Draw – 3.25

Everton – 4.10

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

Like the odds suggest this match promises to be a close match and recent clashes between the teams have proven the sides to be close in on pitch performances as all of the last eight matches have seen either draws or one goal victories. This pattern goes back to 2009 when Arsenal travelled to Goodison Park early in the 2009/10 season and thumped Everton 6-1, with Everton’s consolation goal coming in injury time at the end of the match.

Arsenal have won four and drawn four of these eight matches and are unbeaten against Everton in 13 fixtures, while it has been 18 years since Everton last won away against Arsenal. That came with a 2-1 victory at Highbury in January 1996. Despite this poor record the last three matches, including the last two at The Emirates, have ended level so will this FA Cup match be the end of Arsenal’s dominance over the Toffees?

In reality, it is unlikely as only World and European champions Bayern Munich have defeated Arsenal at the Emirates in 15 matches and they required a red card for Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczęsny before they were able to make the breakthrough on the night. Arsenal have won 11 of the other 14 matches on home soil in all competitions since losing to Chelsea in the Capital One Cup in October, including bouncing back from the Bayern loss with a 4-1 beating of Sunderland.

Everton’s away form of late has seen them slip down the table as they lost the last three away games to Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea without scoring a goal and they have beaten only League One Stevenage on the road in 2014. The three losses saw a 4-0 defeat in the Merseyside Derby, but losing 1-0 in London twice.

I feel that the corresponding differences between the side’s home and away forms will see Arsenal win this match, but only just as Everton are certainly not a side to give in easily despite their run of losses. Everton defend well and it took a late, late goal for Chelsea to beat them at Stamford Bridge but I see Arsenal just being the more ruthless of the sides and booking their place at Wembley with a one goal victory.

Back Arsenal to beat Everton in this FA Cup Quarter Final game @ 1.79 with GR88.com.

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

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Lukaku to Return to The Hawthorns and Fire Everton to Victory?

Lukaku scored 17 Premier League goals for WBA last season, will he score against them tonight?

Lukaku scored 17 Premier League goals for WBA last season, will he score against them tonight?

Steve Clarke led West Bromwich Albion to eighth in the Premier League table last season and the main reason that he managed to pull the Midlanders so far up the table after the full 38 game calendar was thanks to the 17 goals scored by Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku. This season is all change as Clarke has been relieved of his post at The Hawthorns and Lukaku is now on loan at Everton, the visitors to the Midlands this evening and the young Belgian, who is Everton’s top scorer this season with nine EPL goals, will be looking to fire his new side to all three points at his stomping ground from last season.

GR88.com firmly believe that Lukaku and Everton will manage to take all three points this evening too, despite the fact that West Brom have their new manager, former Real Betis boss Pepe Mel, taking charge of the side for the first time, and their WBA v Everton match odds backs up their thoughts on this final match of the Premier League’s 22nd round of games.

WBA v Everton Match Odds:

Home Victory – 3.75

Draw – 3.20

Away Victory – 1.95

(Odds provided by GR88.com are current as of today but subject to change.)

West Brom come into this evening’s match 14th in the Premier League, just three points above the drop zone having taken just four wins in their 21 matches played so far this season – a joint Premier League low. They need to take all three points in this match, but they have suffered losses without a goal scored in both of their last two matches as Crystal Palace sent them crashing out of the FA Cup at The Hawthorns and a 66th minute Adam Lallana goal saw a 1-0 defeat in front of the Southampton faithful. With Shane Long having been snapped up by Hull City this week and their sponsors having pulled out of their deal with West Brom today due to Nicolas Anelka’s controversial gesture after scoring against West Ham last month, the omens do not look for Mel to get off to a winning start.

Although Everton were beaten here last season 2-0 this is their only loss in six games against the Baggies and they themselves are a much changed, and improved, side. Following the seemingly disastrous decision of David Moyes to move from Everton to Manchester United his replacement, Roberto Martinez, has come in and done wonders with the Toffees. Victory this evening will see them move to fourth in the Premier League table and extend their unbeaten run to five games in total and seven games on the road. They have won three of their last four matches and with them having scored 11 more goals and conceded nine fewer in their 21 matches this season they will believe that they can take all three points tonight.

I am certainly in agreement with both Everton football club and the match odds provided by GR88.com as I see the away win in this WBA v Everton clash tonight. I feel that, if anything, the odds on the away win are too generous as Lukaku alone has more goals this season than all of the West Brom strikers and I feel that he will be the difference between these two sides as he shoots his new team to victory against his side from last season.

Back Everton to take all three points at The Hawthorns tonight in this WBA v Everton match tonight @ 1.95 with the GR88 Sportsbook!

AntonyANTONY JORDAN (antonygr88) is an avid football and cricket fan who loves to play his favourite sports as much as write about them and bet on them.  Read his daily sports betting blog at GR88.com.

Big Test For Arsenal Against In-Form Everton

Mesut Özil has been key to Arsenal's form this season

Mesut Özil has been key to Arsenal’s form this season

Arsenal v Everton

Let’s be honest here. No one expected Arsenal to be 12 points clear of reigning champions Manchester United after 14 games, least of all Arsenal. And even fewer expected to see Nicklas Bendtner play for the club again, let alone score the opener in the midweek win over Hull.

But now that the dust has settled and everyone’s stopped retweeting months-old Piers Morgan meltdowns, Arsène Wenger’s side face a real test: Roberto Martinez’s Everton.

Everton themselves have impressed, currently sitting seven points behind Arsenal in seventh and causing fans of other clubs to complain about the loan system which has allowed them to borrow Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku for a year. Strangely, few of these people were complaining during Lukaku’s spell with West Brom last season.

The Toffees come into the game fresh from a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford, which I would describe as sweet if that didn’t set me up for an awful pun on the club’s nickname.

That game also saw commentator Martin Tyler set the bar for worst wordplay of the season, describing goalscorer and Costa Rican international Bryan Oviedo as “Everton’s Costa Toffee”. But maybe I’m the naïve one for thinking a reference to a chain store found only in the UK won’t have the worldwide appeal of, well, any other combination of words?

Anyway, I digress. Everton have suffered only one defeat this season, away to a Manchester City side who have outscored their nearest opposition by a clear 10 goals (or 1.25 Lukakus), while Arsenal have scored in nine of their last 10 games. By that token, both teams to find the net seems a reasonable shout.

Betting Instinct tip: Both teams to score is 1.67 with GR88.com

 

 

Crystal Palace v Cardiff City

Another team on the up is CrystalPalace. Despite pundits skipping the traditional excitement about a promoted team and jumping straight to the ‘laughing at their inadequacy’ phase, Palace are already within one point of Derby County’s lowest ever points total for a Premier League season.

Much of this is to do with manager Tony Pulis, who has the enviable quality of not being Ian Holloway. The former boss has worked miracles before, but these are of the ‘getting £12m for Charlie Adam’ variety and not of the ‘actually coaching the defenders in the squad’ variety. In fact, the latter isn’t even really a miracle – it’s just basic common sense, or at least it ought to be.

As someone who gave Andy Wilkinson more than 100 Premier League appearances, Pulis is no stranger to getting results using whichever humans happen to be standing nearby – quite helpful considering Holloway signed too many players to actually include in his squad, while somehow still making the team worse.

They take on a Cardiff City side who play a confusing formation (described by Huw Davies as the 4-3-huh?) and have won once in seven away games. A win in el Birdico would take the Eagles within a point of the Bluebirds, while also proving that not every match is improved by the addition of el and ‘-ico’ either side of a word loosely connected to both teams.

Betting Instinct Tip: Crystal Palace to win is 2.55 with AllYouBet.ag

TOM VICTOR (editor) tv is the editor and co-founder of Betting Instinct. He has written for a variety of sports sites in the past, including JustFootball, Footy Matters and BeNeFoot.

Manchester United Manager Moyes Can See Off Threat of Former Club Everton

Everton's Romelu Lukaku (left) scored a hat-trick on his last visit to Old Trafford

Everton’s Romelu Lukaku (left) scored a hat-trick on his last visit to Old Trafford

Before I start, I’d like everyone to know that only the other day I picked more than 2.5 goals in both the Manchester City v. Swansea and Hull v. Liverpool games, Sporting Lisbon and Rubin Kazan to win, and a draw in the Tottenham v. Manchester United match. Fifty whole dollars richer, I think I know a thing or two about sports betting. I’d have recommended you bet on those games, but giving tips for games that have already been played isn’t allowed. Onwards and upwards. Well, onwards, anyway.

Manchester United v Everton

David Moyes never beat Manchester United while manager of Everton, but that doesn’t matter because now he manages Manchester United. Robin van Persie should be the difference at Old Trafford, with six goals and five assists in 10 starts against the Toffees, though he is not a certainty to start. It should be a close match: Romelu Lukaku is an obvious threat, scoring a hat-trick in his last game against Manchester United, and Everton have a good away record under Roberto Martinez. Having completed a short appraisal of Everton’s credentials, United’s home record against the boys formerly known as David Moyes’ boys – no defeats in their last 20 games – points towards an almost inevitable result. United win.

Manchester United v Everton Betting Odds
Manchester United to win – 1.67
Draw – 3.75
Everton to win – 4.75
Quoted odds are posted by Intertops Sportsbook as of today.

Liverpool v Norwich City

Liverpool are odds on to beat Norwich at Anfield, but then it’s going to take a few more games in the league/seasons of Being Liverpool before we all figure out whether we’re looking at the Liverpool of 2011, or the Liverpool of a few weeks ago when they were good. Fail to beat Norwich, and we shouldn’t worry about the sky falling in – this is Liverpool, after all. They’ve conceded six in their last two games to Everton and Hull, but Brendan Rodgers’ men have a strong defensive record at home and most would expect Luis “Seven in Three Matches Against Norwich” Suarez to find the net, especially against opposition who can’t score goals, but are good at letting them in. Liverpool win.

Betting Instinct Tip: Liverpool to win and keep a clean sheet is 2.10 with GEObet.com

Max avatarMAX GRIEVE is Australian, but keep reading. He likes football, rugby union and tennis, though has given up on his dream of being a tri-sport athlete/exciting millionaire. He supports Liverpool, and is ashamed for doing so.