Everton the Value Bet on the Asian Handicap to Avoid FA Cup Defeat to Chelsea

Everton v Chelsea
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Everton +0.25 on the Asian Handicap @ 4/5 (1.80) with Betfred

This is threatening to be a season of ‘what might have been’ for Everton.  Saturday’s 3-2 loss at home to West Ham United may have been largely down to the early dismissal of Kevin Mirallas, but it can’t be overlooked that the Toffees were 2-0 ahead and missed a penalty before the Hammers launched their fight-back.

Since late November, that’s no less than 14-points Everton have lost from winning positions and goes a long way to explaining why such a talented squad is mired in the lower half of the Premier League table.  

Another game where they dropped points was away to Chelsea in January, where they were 2-0 up and then 3-2 ahead in stoppage-time, only to be pegged back to 3-3 (albeit by a goal that should have been disallowed).  Questions as to the future of Roberto Martinez are becoming commonplace, with many doubting both his tactical nous and use of substitutions.  The FA Cup represents his last opportunity to win over some of the growing doubters.

In stark contrast to their away form where they’ve lost just one top-flight game all season, Everton have lost seven league matches at Goodison Park this season.  They did however beat Chelsea on home soil 3-1 back in September.  The problem is that their hero that day was Steven Naismith, who has since been sold to Norwich City.

Chelsea’s mood going into this game will clearly be affected by the outcome of their Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain but, whether they progress or not in Europe, it’s a game that will probably be both physically and mentally exhausting on what is a relatively small first-team squad at Guus Hiddink’s disposal.

It’s just one defeat in 17 matches in all competitions for Chelsea under Hiddink prior to their Wednesday night clash with the French champions.  It’s been a disastrous defence of their Premier League title (albeit they are now two places and two points above Everton), but the FA Cup represents their best opportunity of claiming some consolation silverware from the season.

Both teams look to have a relatively clean bill of health, although Mirallas will be suspended from Everton.

Everton can beat anyone on their day and with extra days to prepare they look a reasonable bet on the Asian Handicap +0.25.  With that bet, any draw would still ensure that half your stake would be settled as a winning bet and the other half returned.  

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