Toffees aiming to tame Tigers as champions City travel to Sunderland
Roberto Martinez’s Toffees (15/8 with Coral to finish in top six) will be keen to continue their dominance over Hull City when they welcome Steve Bruce’s side to Goodison Park, while Manchester City (1/2 to win) face a trip to the Stadium of Light to face the buoyant Black Cats.
Everton v Hull
Struggling Hull (9/4 to be relegated) haven’t won at Everton since 1952, and the home side have toppled the Toffees in four of the last six meetings.
Romelu Lukaku has rekindled his scoring form this season, having netted twice in his last three games, including the opening goal in a 2-1 victory over the Hammers last month.
The fierce frontman tormented a torrid Tigers defence in their previous meeting, striking early in the second half to secure a 2-0 victory at the KC Stadium. Brilliant Belgium international Lukaku is 5/1 to net two or more in the latest clash, as Martinez’s men look to climb from 10th in the table.
Everton’s super stopper, Tim Howard, is keen for his side to make an instant reaction after their sickening 2-1 loss to Tottenham.
“We’re not a team, and our manager isn’t a manager, who dwells on results,” he said. “We’re just looking forward to the Hull game now.
“We’re at home, it’ll be an opportunity for us to get three points and we are confident we can do that, so we go again.”
Bruce’s Tigers have managed only one Premier League goal since October, and USA World Cup hero Howard is 23/20 to keep hapless Hull at bay with a clean sheet, and his side are 31/20 to win to nil.
Sunderland v Man City
Gus Poyet’s Black Cats will have nothing to fear going into their clash against City, with the champions having not beaten Sunderland in the Premier League since October 2012, when Sergio Aguero netted a peach in a 3-0 victory at the Etihad.
Manuel Pellegrini will be cautious of the threat Sunderland pose, as the North East side have lost only once in the last six meetings with City in the league.
Surprising Sunderland showed sublime resilience to hold league leaders Chelsea to a goalless draw, and earn a point at the Stadium of Light in their last outing.
Jose Mourinho’s men had scored in every league game this season, yet could not find a way through against the team who handed them their last domestic defeat. The visiting side are 10/3 to take a point away from home, and 6/1 outsiders to hand Pellegrini’s players another damaging defeat.
Despite his sides respective record over City, Poyet is keeping his feet on the ground but was pleased with the display against Chelsea.
“I am realistic so I am pleased. To have the chance to get something against a team like Chelsea, first you need to defend, and do it properly,” he said.
“We did that. That’s a minimum. We had chances at the end because there was space. You never know if it’s fate or not but we need to be pleased with the performance. It was our best for a while.”
Samir Nasri has scored in City’s last two meetings with the Mackems; the reverse fixture last term in April and at Wembley in the 2014 Capital One Cup final. Given these goals against this opposition back in the spring, take tempting odds of 11/4 on Nasri netting again anytime.