Everton v Middlesbrough, Sunday, Sky Sports 1, 1:30pm
Two sides who have had promising starts to the campaign meet on Sunday when Middlesbrough travel to Goodison to face Everton. Everton will be full of confidence as they have won their last three Premiership games, although in each of these games they have only scored in the last ten minutes. This knack of scoring late goals was demonstrated in its most startling effect at West Ham last week, when they scored three times in the last ten minutes to come form a goal behind to win 3-1. Boro have also left it late in scoring in their last two games, as Tuncay’s 88th minute winner at Villa Park last week followed Mido’s 83rd minute goal at West Ham the week before that gave the Teesider’s a 1-1 draw.
Everton are 4/5 with skybet to stretch their unbeaten run to five games, with Boro 7/2 at skybet to continue their recent good run of form.
If Marouane Fellaini scores at anytime during Everton v Middlesbrough, BGbet will refund all losing first goalscorer stakes on the match.4
If Everton v Middlesbrough finishes 0-0 BGbet will refund all losing correct score bets on that game
Everton could welcome back joint-top scorer Yakubu for their trip to the Nigerian’s former club Middlesbrough this Sunday.
The Yak was absent for last Saturday’s 3-1 win at West Ham United with a heel problem but he is back in training and will be determined to face the club he was with for two years.
An £11million move last summer brought Yakubu to Merseyside and he played twice against his former club in 2007-08 as the Toffees twice won 2-0.
“Yak has had a badly bruised heel for three or four weeks and we’ve sort of kept it going, but we knew eventually he would have to miss a game,” explained head physio Mick Rathbone.
“He has a 50-50 chance of playing.”
Victor Anichebe began last week’s game alongside Louis Saha, who scored twice to take his goal tally to three in the last two games, but the 20-year-old will have to return to the bench should Yakubu return.
Steven Pienaar was also conspicuous by his absence against West Ham and the South African central midfielder remains a doubt for this weekend after injuring his knee.
Meanwhile perennial injury doubt Tim Cahill appears now fully-fit, a claim Rathbone is happy to support.
“Tim has come through recent games fine. He had a bruised heel which he picked up in Sydney, but he’s looked after it well and he seemed fine after the game so hopefully that one has burned out now,” he added.
Boro are unlikely to fret over last term’s losses to Everton, especially as they sit one point and one place below the Toffees.
The Teessiders are unbeaten in four games, winning twice against teams that were above them in the league – Manchester City and, last week, Aston Villa.
“It was a good game of football. I’m really pleased with the way we passed the ball and we created lots of chances for an away side,” said Gareth Southgate after the Villa Park success.
The only Boro player who suffered a disappointing afternoon last Saturday was defender David Wheater, who was left out of the side, but Southgate has told the academy graduate to fight for his place.
“I hope he’ll react in the right way. He came out last year and was a lot better for it,” added the Boro.
“He’s a super young player and we want to keep improving him.”
Justin Hoyte came in for Wheater and, after a solid showing, would feel aggrieved if he was left out so Southgate is likely to