If someone told you that ‘Team A’ beat ‘Team B’ 4-0 the last time they met and they offered you odds of 11/1 on them to win again, the chances are you’d rip their arm off.

That’s exactly what UK bookies Ladbrokes, BetBright and StanJames are doing for tonight’s Monday Night Football clash between Manchester City and Everton.

Everton put City to the sword at Goodison Park last year on a night that saw Romelu Lukaku run rampant. But he’s no longer plying his trade in Everton blue, and City are as formidable at home as any side in the league.

Their home record in the Premier League is impeccable – just one defeat from their last 22 games – but with the biggest odds available of 3/10 there’s not much value to be had. In their opening match they defeated newly-promoted Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 away from home as they made a solid start to their Premier League campaign.

The bookies have taken a view on the game, offering odds of 11/1 on an Everton victory. It’s a price that, for a team that also won their opening match of the season (1-0 against Stoke) seems incredibly generous.

A win for Ronald Koeman’s men may appear a long shot, but should the odds really be that wide? After all, Everton thrashed City 4-0 at Goodison Park the last time the two sides met.

Well, things aren’t exactly the same as they were last season. City are refreshed and ready for another serious tilt at the title, while Everton are going through a period of early-season transition.

The biggest change is the loss to Everton of Romelu Lukaku, who ripped City apart in that 4-0 win, scoring one and making another. His scoring power will be sorely missed by Everton this season, despite the return of local boy made good Wayne Rooney.

City are dominant at home against Everton (three wins and three draws in their last six) and huge favorites to win, but Rooney has shown he knows how to beat City from his time at cross-town rivals Manchester United.

Remember this?

Rooney currently sits on 199 Premier League goals. When he reaches 200 he’ll be one of only two players to hit 200 goals in Premier League history – the other being Alan Shearer, who certainly knew where the net was.

Football has a habit of throwing up poetic storylines, and we could have another if Rooney chalks up the double-century with a strike against his old rivals.

If you fancy a little side action on that, you can grab Rooney to score at any time at 19/4 (Unibet, 888Sport, 32Red).

PICK: City to win by two

The odds of 11/1 are deliberately tempting, but don’t be tempted.

In short, it’s a trap.

 

Those odds imply a percentage chance of an Everton victory of just 8.33%, which seems ridiculously low. In many cases this is a sign to take the odds and bet. But I’d only suggest that if you wanted to make a small side bet.

The conditions are excellent if you planned to back Everton anyway but, from a purely sporting standpoint, I firmly believe City will win, which makes the price on an Everton victory almost irrelevant.

And the best pick I could find for a City win is in the Margin of Victory market, where a two-goal win for Pep Guardiola’s men is an attractive 3/1 with Skybet.

And in a game that’s been priced up as a mismatch by the bookies, that’s as solid a value bet on City as you’ll find.


Follow Simon Head on Twitter @simonhead.


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