BEN LEVENE (@BenLevene96) made a winning start to his WLB account in last Thursday's Europa League qualifier from Goodison Park so can he repeat the feat when Everton travel to Hajduk Split?.
Hajduk Split v Everton | Thursday 24th August 2017, 20:00 | ITV4
Everton travel to Split having secured a 2-0 win in the opening leg at Goodison Park last Thursday. As expected, the Toffees were defensively solid and controlled the lion’s share of the game. Courtesy of a few missed chances, our bet on that occasion of Under 2.5 Goals won.
This time around Hajduk Split are going to have to attack from the off. They boast an impressive home record – in both qualification ties to reach this stage, Split won ‘to nil’.
But Everton are a different animal. With an away trip at Chelsea on Sunday after Monday’s draw at the Etihad, you can make an argument that Ronald Koeman will heavily rotate this Thursday.
And that question mark along, with Split’s strong home-record, is enough to put me off backing Everton to win on the night at a tempting 13/10.
The betting angle
But even a much-changed Everton side will feature the likes of Cuco Martina, Mo Besic, Davy Klaasen and Kevin Mirallas who in their own right have enough to defeat Split, so we are stuck with a tricky conundrum.
Going with Under 2.5 Goals could prove wise but at a slim 8/11 that isn’t a bet. Everton have kept four clean sheets in five competitive matches this season and we can back the same to occur here, given the gulf in class.
Koeman doesn’t have much scope to rotate at the back with Martina the only likely change, so they may revert to a back-four and after Monday’s red card, Morgan Schneiderlin should make up the shielding role along with Besic.
There is enough here for us to take punt on the 7/4 (BetStars) quoted for an Everton clean sheet this Thursday. This price is especially appealing when you consider Split frontman Marko Futacs is again a doubt.
With the home side likely to be aggressive from the outset, I like the chances of Kevin Mirallas to get on the scoresheet (best to wait for line-ups). It’s very possible an attacking trio of Mirallas, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Klaasen line up behind Sandro Ramirez.
Mirallas has the pace to trouble Split in behind on the counter and can benefit from playing alongside a wealth of creative quality. He’s 16/5 to score with Unibet.
Hajduk Split v Everton – Everton to keep a clean sheet (7/4 BetStars)
Hajduk Split v Everton – Kevin Mirallas to score at anytime (16/5 Unibet)