West Ham and Everton are probably the two biggest clubs who have been involved in the Premier League relegation battle this season, but both are comfortably safe as the 2017/18 campaign enters its final day on Sunday.
Both sides have each appointed a steady but dour manager who used to manage their last-day opponents; Everton brought in Sam Allardyce who is proving just as unpopular on Merseyside as he was in East London.
Meanwhile, David Moyes has also ensured survival but is also facing similar unrest at the London Stadium and it is fair to say that his achievements peaked during his extended spell at Goodison Park.
Question 1 – What will the result be?
The Hammers have won just two of their last six home league games, while the Toffees have taken two victories and a draw from their last three on the road, so it might be that Sam Allardyce’s men hold the advantage here.
Allarydce is also keen to continue his crusade to prove to the Everton fans and board that he is the right man to take the club forward next season and that may see him keener to preserve that momentum.
Question 2 – How many goals will be scored?
Both sides are in the lower reaches of the top flight in terms of shots on target per game and as we’ve mentioned before, both their managers are predominantly safety-first characters.
In a game that means nothing to either side, it is easy to see this one petering out into a lower-scoring affair, especially as neither side has managed to find a centre-forward to rely on for goals throughout the season.
Question 3 – Pick a player to score anytime
There are two stand-out options here; Marko Arnautovic and Cenk Tosun. West Ham’s Austrian maestro has been reinvented under Moyes and has ten league goals for the club this season.
Tosun struggled initially to settle in England after his January arrival on Merseyside but now has five top flight goals – four of which have come away from home.
Question 4 – How many corners will be taken?
These two sides are 17th and 19th in the Premier League respectively in terms of corners won, and only 10th and 7th in terms of those conceded.
Therefore, it might make sense to look towards the lower end of the scale here, and ‘9 or fewer’ could be worth a look.
Question 5 – Pick an event to occur
There are a few possibilities here; a goal from a substitute, a red card, an own goal, a scored penalty and a comeback win to name a few.
West Ham have the worst disciplinary record in the league, while Everton have received three red cards this term, so predicting Graham Scott to make a dismissal may not be the worst idea.
Elsewhere, the Toffees have won 14 points after falling behind this season so a win from behind could be worth a look – although the usual final-day apathy may stop that from happening here.
Question 6 – Pick a player to receive a card
Pablo Zabaleta (9) and Tom Davies (7) top the rankings in terms of bookings for their respective teams and with the English starlet’s place in the Toffees team not secure – despite his last-gasp equaliser against Southampton last time out – the Argentine may represent the best bet.
Question 7 – In which minute will the opening goal be scored?
Neither of these sides is prolific in the opening 15 minutes, having scored just 6 goals between them during that period of the game this season – so going for an early goal is a long shot here.
The Hammers’ average time to score the opener is 50 minutes in, while Everton’s is after 48. However, both sides do tend to concede the first goal before the interval; Moyes’ boys after 33 minutes and Big Sam’s Army after 41.
So, plumping for a minute just either side of half time looks the best way to make this monster bet achievable.
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