Everton v Burnley: Toffees can come unstuck on Ancelotti's debut
Everton are rated as odds-on favourites here with layers expecting a Carlo Ancelotti bounce but that simply can't be right, says Jamie Pacheco...
Everton v Burnley Thursday December 26, 15:00
Ancelotti inherits team on the up
A new era starts here with Carlo Ancelotti taking charge of Everton first-team affairs for the first time.
The Everton hierarchy will be hoping they finally get an appointment spot on. Their last three or four managers have each had some issues, the most serious of which were, of course, the results themselves.
Duncan Ferguson did an excellent job in his short time in charge and Ancelotti will have the benefit of the team at least having some momentum, after securing a win and two good draws in the three matches in which he was in charge. A few midfielders are either ruled out or struggling to be fit: Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott and Morgan Schneiderlin. Andre Gomes (pictured) is still recovering from a long term injury.
Burnley doing their thing
Burnley are unlikely to be many neutrals' favourite but Sean Dyche and his players probably have better things to worry about besides popularity.
With each season that passes in the Premier League they get more and more experienced and the squad improves a little.
The next step will be to have players who are beyond workmanlike, honest and functional. A couple of exciting youngsters with a bit of flair would do the side a world of good.
Of the regular starters, Jeff Hendrick is suspended for this one.
Hard to justify hosts' price
It really is remarkable how the so-called bounce effect works. Bring in a new man and the team is all of a sudden unrecognisable from the one that played the previous match. In Everton's case you might be tempted to think that there might be a double dose of that because this will be the second new gaffer in the space of two weeks.
I'm guessing the layers are giving a huge amount of importance to that factor because it's hard to see any other reason as to why Everton are 1.75 favourites here. Burnley are currently five points better off and if the Toffees have improved over the last three games and remained unbeaten in them, Burnley have been no slouches, either.
Yes, they got hammered by both Man City and Tottenham but against sides of a more similar level to them, they beat West Ham, Watford, Newcastle and Bournemouth since the start of November. Two of those wins were away from home.
Everton look a bit over-rated to me in the betting and in a game that looks likely to be a bit of a laboured slog, it makes sense to keep the visitors and the draw onside. Lay Everton (for more on laying, check out Betfair's How-To Guide).
An edge on the goals markets
Everton home games haven't been particularly high-scoring this season. Just three from nine went over 2.5 goals and only one of the last five went that way.
When you consider that there's also been a bias towards Burnley away games being low on goals- the same six from nine finished 'unders' - and that three of the last four at Goodison Park between these two also went under 2.5 goals and you should be able to see where the edge is in a market that's impossible to split.
'Unders' rates a perfectly good bet at 1.98 in light of all of that.
Look to Burnley's main men for goals
Richarlison failed to score in his last two but he scored in three consecutive matches before that. That's six for the season and he's one of the players who always looks like he's going to score. Ancelotti will be hoping he can get the best out of him because he's arguably Everton's best attacker. He's 6/5 to score.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin got two against Chelsea but those were his only goals in his last six starts which isn't a great return for a striker at a team who creates a fair few chances. He's 13/10 to net here.
If you believe Burnley will score at least once, a decent strategy might be to split stakes between Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes. After all, no-one else really seems to score for the Clarets. Between them they have 13 goals, which is over half their total number (23) for the season.
Backing Wood at 9/4 and Barnes at 23/10 would mean that one or the other scoring would give you a decent profit.