FA Cup Betting: Jelavic can break deadlock
The Croatian has five in all competitions since his January arrival at Goodison Park.
Lee Dixon is preparing for Liverpool to suffer a bloody nose care of the Toffees when they meet them at Wembley in their weekend FA Cup match-up.
Everton hold a live chance of inflicting real pain on an out-of-form Liverpool during the first FA Cup semi-final of the weekend in an intriguing fixture pitting together the two Merseyside giants.
These are strange times for the Reds. The Carling Cup is in the trophy cabinet, but league results have been woeful this year and this proud team find themselves 33 points off Manchester United in the table -- that sort of total has kept teams safe in years gone by!
Damian Comolli has taken the flak for this poor state of affairs by receiving his marching orders this week.
Andy Carroll's last-minute winner at Blackburn in midweek earned Liverpool a first victory in five games but that's not enough to suggest they've turned a corner.
By contrast, Everton arrive in fine fettle -- unbeaten in five since losing to Arsenal with four wins 'to nil' in that run, including Easter Monday's 4-0 hammering of a useful Sunderland side.
Given all of that, why are Everton such outsiders to triumph on Saturday lunchtime?
Liverpool trade at [2.54] to win this in 90 minutes, with the Toffees available to back at [3.25] and the draw at [3.5].
The Reds' short price is surely down to poor results against their chief rivals in recent years. Both games have been lost this year, with Everton failing to score in both and the general trend is that Liverpool win more than their neighbours. And, as Opta tell us, these two have met four times in FA Cup semi-finals. The Toffees won the first but the last three have gone Liverpool's way.
Forget that though -- if ever there was a time for Everton to land a blow, this is it. I'm backing Everton to win in 90 minutes at [3.2]. The more cautious might prefer to take the [2.18] on the Blue half of Merseyside qualifying for the final.
Under 2.5 Goals
Everton's defence has been wonderful during their strong recent run, keeping clean sheets against Sunderland (twice), Swansea and West Brom. I'm expecting a close-fought affair and I'm happy to back under 2.5 goals at odds-on ([1.76]).
If I had to back one man to break the deadlock then it can only be Nikica Jelavic whose name jumps off the page in the goalscorer markets given his recent efforts. The Croatian has five in all competitions since his January arrival at Goodison Park. Any price above [3.3] and I will be a backer.