WILLIE Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) eyes up the Saturday lunchtime clash between Watford and Everton for us.
Watford v Everton | Saturday 12:30 | Sky Sports 1
Ronald Koeman got a lot of stick from Everton fans recently because his Christmas tree – a picture of which he posted on social media – looked a wee bit too red for some of the Goodison Park faithful.
It was one of those stories that make you shake your head at how fickle football fans can be – not least because Koeman and Everton have much bigger problems to worry about than the colour of the tinsel that the former Southampton manager chooses to decorate his Christmas tree with.
Everton’s spectacular start to the season – five consecutive wins in all competitions after an opening day draw against Tottenham Hotspur – has long been forgotten; indeed, the men from Merseyside have won just one of their last 10 games in all competitions – against West Ham at Goodison Park – and their last two points have been procured by goals in the dying minutes of games against Swansea City and Manchester United respectively.
The Toffees were scoring goals for fun last season, but that certainly hasn’t been the case so far this season; they’ve managed a pretty paltry return of just four goals from their last five games and, of the teams in the top 10 – of which, despite their troubles, Koeman’s side are still one – only Stoke City (who endured an absolutely miserable start to the season) have scored fewer goals thus far this term.
Watford, however, are hardly setting the Premier League alight either; Walter Mazzarri’s men have shown flashes of brilliance at times this season – remember that thrilling 3-1 win against Manchester United at Vicarage Road? – but there has been a couple of pretty woeful performances too; anyone who remembers Watford’s Monday night misery against Burnley at Turf Moor back in September will be reluctant to put their faith in the Hornets.
So is backing a low-scoring game the way forward? Not necessarily. There have been goals at both ends in all but one of the last eight meetings between these two teams and the match at Goodison Park between the clubs last term ended in a pulsating 2-2 draw.
There is, however, a trend that I can get on board with ahead of this weekend’s curtain raiser from the top-flight – late goals.
Each of Everton’s last six goals have come after the half-time whistle, while the Hornets have scored 10 of their last 13 goals in the second half of matches.
For that reason, it is the 15/13 quote from 188Bet for most of the scoring to come in the second half that carries most appeal ahead of Saturday’s showdown from Vicarage Road.
Watford v Everton – Second Half Highest Scoring Half (15/13 188BET)