THE EFL Cup 4th Round takes centre-stage on Tuesday night. We askedMatthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) to source the best bets.
Everton v Watford | Tuesday 29th October 2019, 19:45
We start with an all-Premier League clash in the 4th Round of the League Cup, as Marco Silva’s Everton hosts struggling Watford.
The pressure is mounting on Merseyside after Everton slipped to their sixth defeat of the season after a controversial VAR intervention saw Brighton awarded with a penalty on Saturday. Neal Maupay converted from the spot to level the game before Everton’s Lucas Digne put through his own net to gift Brighton all three points, once again highlighting the Toffees defensive vulnerabilities.
It was a game Everton recorded six shots on-target with an Expected Goals (xG) total of 1.05xG, which suggests the chances they cut out weren’t too clear-cut. Despite that, this cup run has offered Everton some respite with wins at Lincoln and Sheffield Wednesday seeing them progress to this round.
Silva has selected fairly strong teams for those fixtures and you’d expect that continuity here too, as he looks to build confidence within his ranks. Moise Kean wasn’t involved at the weekend could get the nod, while Yerry Mina and Seamus Coleman could return to the backline.
After 10 games Watford prop up the Premier League and are still yet to record a win, despite the hard work of Quique Sanchez Flores since his return. Along with the Hornets failing to win, but they’ve been unable to put the ball in the net – they’ve scored the joint-fewest goals (5) along with Newcastle.
Watford have failed to score in three of their last four league games and their xG tallies show a real lack of threat and impact in the final third – 1.07 v Wolves, 1.44 Sheffield United, 0.85xG v Spurs and 0.67xG v Bournemouth. On Saturday, they drew 0-0 with Bournemouth and started without a recognised striker with Danny Welbeck and Troy Deeney out injured, while Andre Gray came off the bench with little impact.
Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Perarya haven’t stepped up in their absences, and with the injury problems mounting up for the Vicarage Road club, we could see U23 players Sam Dalby and Callum Whelan involved, as they have travelled with the first team.
Given the problems Watford are facing and that all three of Everton’s wins have been here at Goodison Park, then a low-scoring home win looks to be on the cards, as it was in August when the Toffees ran out 1-0 victors.Everton to win and Under 3.5 Goals is 13/10 (Ladbrokes).
The other angle worth taking a look at is in the goalscorer markets and it surrounds a player starting to deliver. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is Everton’s top goalscorer in the league after taking his tally to three in Saturday’s defeat. He also fired the Toffees through to this round after his early double against Sheff Wednesday at Hillsborough.
The 22-year-old had an immediate impact scoring after two minutes of coming off the bench, and he is likely to be rewarded with a start here alongside Kean. He also tops Everton’s player xG stats with 3.02xG showing his goals tally meets the expected conversion rate from the chances fed to him.
With how tight Watford have kept things of late, then set pieces or crosses into their box could be exploited, which means target Calvert-Lewin finding the net anytime (15/8 Bet365), while he’s 11/2 to break the deadlock.
Oxford v Sunderland | Tuesday 29th October 2019, 19:45
Another meeting between two teams from the same league sees Sunderland make the long trip to Oxford.
The bookies have seen support for the hosts and understandably so. Heading into the weekend, Oxford were 23/10, but after thumping Rochdale 3-0 here at the Kassam Stadium, they’ve been well-backed and cut into 6/4, while Sunderland have gone from 6/5 with Bet365 on Thursday to 9/5 with the same firm at the time of writing.
On paper, this should be a bit of a pick’em with just three places and three points separating the sides in the League One table. However, Oxford are red-hot on home soil, while Sunderland have been poor on the road.
Phil Parkinson is still getting to grips with life as Sunderland manager, but it couldn’t have started much better with the 5-0 thrashing of Tranmere last week. Reality soon hit with Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Shrewsbury, but the Black Cats should have left Shropshire with at least a point given the number of times they rattled the woodwork.
That said, Sunderland haven’t scored in their three league away games since ousting Premier League Sheffield United in the previous round of this competition. That shows a lack of cutting edge in the final third and the fact that Will Grigg only has three goals in his last 26 league games suggests there’s an issue.
Karl Robinson has got this Oxford side playing some good football and they aren’t afraid to commit men forward. It was a comfortable 3-0 win over 14th-placed Rochdale, but it could have been a few more if not for the woodwork and some fine saves from Jay Lynch.
It’s three league wins on the bounce with eight goals scored for the U's. Two key men have been Tarique Fosu and James Henry, who have both taken their tallies to seven for the campaign. Only Peterborough (36) have scored more League 1 goals than Oxford this season (32), so this match revolves around that sort of angle.
Over 2.5 Goals is 43/50 with Marathon and looks about right given the last 10 U’s home games have seen this outcome, including their 4-0 victory over West Ham in the previous round. However, there is a bet at an odds-against price that has landed in all of those 10 matches too.
Over 1.5 Oxford Goals (6/5 Unibet) has to be worth consideration given their recent goalscoring record – their last four home league games have all finished 3-0, with that 4-0 League Cup win.
For me, this bet looks nicely priced and with their tendency to keep clean sheets on home soil, it might be worth looking towards a 2-0 correct score at 13/1 with Bet Victor.
If the hosts get the first goal, that’ll force Sunderland to open up, therefore, allowing the likes of Fosu, Jamie Mackie and Cameron Brannagan to hit them on the break, which should see them put this tie to bed.