WILLIE Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) focuses on the Friday night match between Hull and Everton.
Hull v Everton | Friday 20:00 | Sky Sports 1
I had a bit of success in taking on the Tigers on Boxing Day and fans of the team from KCOM Stadium are advised to look away now, for I’m more than happy to get on board with Everton ahead of Friday’s fixture from Humberside.
The statistics don’t make good reading at all for the Tigers; just five points have been procured from Hull’s last 14 Premier League matches and Mike Phelan’s men are painfully shy in front of goal, having managed to score inside normal time in just one of their last six matches in all competitions.
Everton had been having a tough time of things themselves, with just one win in 11 matches for the Toffees since a superb start to the season under the stewardship of former Southampton manager Ronald Koeman.
The Toffees looked likely to end up on the wrong end of a heavy defeat when they conceded an early goal against Arsenal at Goodison Park earlier this month, but Koeman’s charges showed courage in abundance to come back and claim a vital 2-1 victory against the Gunners.
Since then, there has been one defeat – by virtue of Sadio Mane’s sickening late winner for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby – and one very encouraging victory – a 2-0 triumph over Leicester City at King Power Stadium on Boxing Day.
It’s certainly true to suggest that Claudio Ranieri’s side are not the force that they were last season, but the Foxes have been fine on home soil and the manner of Everton’s triumph on Monday might suggest that the Toffees are about to rediscover the form that saw the men from Merseyside claim victory from five of their opening six matches this season.
Hull are hapless; 39 goals against so far this season – only Swansea City have shipped more in the Premier League – while the Tigers have struggled to lay a glove on most of their opponents in recent weeks, with Hull’s only goals in their most recent five games coming against Crystal Palace earlier this month.
Backing Everton at 5/6 to win this one is certainly tempting, but I’m going to be bold and take the Toffees to win without conceding at 2/1 with Bet Stars, for the selection would have paid out in five of Everton’s last seven competitive victories.
Hull v Everton – Everton to win to nil (2/1 Bet Stars)