CARDS specialist Chris Goodwin (@CGeorgeGamble) picks out his favourite fancies from Super night's showdown between Everton and Fulham.
Everton vs Fulham | Sunday 14th February 2021, 19:00 | BT Sport
Fulham makes the trip north as they face European-chasing Everton at Goodison Park. The hosts will be buoyed by the fact their arch-rivals Liverpool lost yet again and if The Blues win both of their games in hand, they will leapfrog above them in the table. Meanwhile, Fulham are in a precarious position as they sit eight points from safety and are without a win in 12.
Everton currently has two games in hand on a few teams above them and a win for the hosts could put them firmly in contention for the top four. They’ve been excellent this season and the additions of Doucoure and Rodriguez has seen them take a step up and be genuine challengers for Europe next season.
They will be without leading scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin who has been spectacular this season. No other player in the league has goals that have been worth more points than him this season and he will be a huge miss but it could mean that new signing Josh King will be handed his debut alongside Richarlison and he will be looking to make an immediate impact against a struggling Fulham side.
The Cottagers are currently on the longest winless run in the Premier League and will look to end that by facing a side that they have never beaten away from home. As the weeks go by it looks more and more likely that, barring an incredible winning run at the back end of the season, Fulham will be back playing Championship football next season.
Manager Scott Parker said in the build-up to this game that his side needs to be more clinical. It’s an obvious statement for a side that has scoffed just three goals in their last seven matches in all competitions and they have the fewest different goalscorers in the league.
On paper, it looks like a straight forward win for Ancelotti and his men.
- Commit on average 11 fouls per game when playing at home this season.
- Receive on average 10.5 fouls per game when playing at home this season.
- When playing at home against teams in the bottom half this season, they have seen 2+
cards on 1/4 occasions.
- In those games, the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 3/4 occasions.
- Have won their last 12 home matches against Fulham in all competitions.
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored in 5 of Everton's last 6 EPL home games.
- Everton has scored at least two goals in six of their last seven home matches against
Fulham in all competitions.
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin went straight down the tunnel after coming off against Tottenham in midweek and may miss out here but return next Wednesday.
- Joshua King has a good chance of making his full Everton debut as a result, either out wide with Richarlison upfront or through the middle himself.
- James Rodriguez is available after missing the cup win over Tottenham with a calf injury but may only make the bench here. Andre Gomes is also back.
- Commit on average 12.7 fouls per game when playing at away this season (second-most).
- Receive on average 9.5 fouls per game when playing at away this season (third least).
- When playing away against teams in the top half this season, they have seen 2+ cards
on 4/5 occasions.
- In those games, the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 1/5 occasions.
- Have drawn their last 4 away EPL matches.
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored in 10 of Fulham's last 12 EPL games.
- Have never won an away league match against Everton despite 27 attempts – losing 23
- Are currently on the longest winless run in the league, failing to win any of their last 12.
- No side has few different goalscorers than Fulham in the EPL this season.
- Scoring goals remains a big problem for Fulham, who have failed to score in four of their last five. Surely it won't be long before we see late January arrival Josh Maja.
- Terence Kongolo and Tom Cairney remain injury concerns for the away side.
Referee: Andy Madley
- Averages just 2.67 cards per game in the EPL this season.
- The away side has seen at least a card in his last seven games officiated.
My first pick is a market I don’t often go for but with the stats behind this one and the price, I can’t not. I think the price is fairly reactionary given Calvert-Lewin is going to miss this one as confirmed by Carlo Ancelotti and obviously his goals have been responsible for the Toffees position in the league table.
However, Everton still has quality across the park and play against a Fulham side who are winless in their last 12 and have never claimed victory at Goodison Park – losing 23 of the previous 27 in this fixture.
I expect Everton to go off at around 1.85 and so evens on this one is overpriced.
My second pick is a bit of a longshot but I do like the price. I’ve already covered why I think Ancelotti’s men will come out victorious but I think Fulham might frustrate them, to begin with.
I see Everton piling on the pressure and winning a decent amount of corners. Fulham concedes on average 5.4 corners per game and only see around 3.9 for themselves. With Everton on the front foot, I think they get the most corners with ease.
Finally, we’d need Fulham to see more cards than Everton. Fulham have played five away games against teams in the top half and have seen more cards than their opposition in three of those.
Referee Andy Madley doesn’t have the best per game average for cards brandished, however in his last seven games, the away side have had at least a booking in all of them and i expect Fulham to give him no choice but to outdo his average and award the away side more bookings than Everton.
Lastly, I like Fulham to outright see 20+ booking points. For reasons already mentioned, i think Fulham make it five games out of six in which they’ve seen at least 20 booking points away against sides in the top half.