Everton vs Wolves Odds, Picks, Predictions | Premier League Preview
Visionhaus/Getty. Pictured: Joao Gomes.
Everton vs Wolves Odds
|Over / Under|
+100 / -125
Both Wolves and Everton dropped their first two matches of the season, which makes this relegation six-pointer all the more important when Wolves visit Merseyside on Saturday in the Premier League. Wolves and Everton suffered the two biggest defeats in the league last week as Wolves lost 4-1 at home to Brighton and Villa handled Everton at home, 4-0.
Everton and Wolves have both picked up right where they left off last season as the two worst finishing teams in the Premier League when you compare their xG output to their actual goal tallies. Wolves' lack of a true striker and finisher and the Toffees' reliance on Neal Maupay in the absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin has left both clubs short on goals.
It's always dangerous to over-read xG variance and bet on it to continue. This is especially true when it confirms our priors about how a certain attack might perform. For example, both Wolves and Everton ran exactly even with their xG totals in 2021-22 prior to major underperformance last season.
Which is closer to the true talent of the team? Either way, both defenses are far too porous overall to warrant the total sitting below 2.5.
The Toffees have been an aggressive side under Sean Dyche and their transition defense and box defending has really struggled as a result. It’s helped their pressing numbers and increased their ability to force high turnovers, which has been a major issue for Wolves through the first two matches of the season.
Dyche has made these tactical tweaks to improve the attack and overcome a general talent deficiency in ball progression. If you don't have enough passing quality to consistently progress the ball into the penalty area from your own half, then one potential solution is to win the ball higher up the pitch. That only works if you're willing to press more, and Everton's midfield talent is well-suited to this approach.
As a result, there will be ugly matches and results, like Aston Villa on Sunday. But overall, the Toffees' attack took a major step forward under Dyche and the overall xG difference was considerably better after he came in.
The Toffees only scored 16 goals at home last year, but the 23.5 xG was in line with the league average.
Even with their struggling attack, Manchester United produced more than 2 xG and forced 16 high turnovers in that opening weekend match against Wolves. Wolves were able to find some real attacking threat through the midfield once they broke through the press against United and Brighton and it should be even easier to do so against Dyche’s Everton.
Wolves won’t continue to produce 19 shots per game like they have the first two weeks, but it’s clear that Gary O’Neil’s bet on the transition ability of this squad will lead to Wolves playing higher event matches than the previous manager.
Julen Lopategui prioritized defensive possession and keeping the ball in their own as a way of raising the defensive floor of the team. They scratched and clawed enough goals to comfortably stay up, but they finished the season with the fewest xG produced in the entire Premier League. It's only been a few weeks under O'Neil and Wolves did play two superior teams in Brighton and United, but it's clear that they're taking more risks in possession in their own half and playing a more direct style now.
Everton vs Wolves
Pick & Prediction
The Toffees have hit a bit of an early season injury issue headed into this match. Calvert-Lewin has a broken cheek bone and won't play Saturday. Alex Iwobi picked up a hamstring problem and won't play, nor will new signing Jack Harrison. Everton don't have much depth in these areas, so it's fair to expect more holes in their defensive transition and pressing without Iwobi in midfield.
Wolves are also without Matheus Nunes, after he was suspended due to a red card last week against Brighton. Despite the finishing struggles for both clubs and a subpar injury report for those hoping for goals, both defenses are far too porous to warrant the price on both teams to score. I'd bet yes at -120 or better.