Three points, a clean-sheet, unbeaten run extended and a goal scored by one those guys, what do you call them? They get paid to score goals, arenâ€™t very good a tackling, thatâ€™s right, a striker.
It hasnâ€™t happened for David Moyesâ€™ side too often this season, in fact, no team has ever had such a low percentage of their goals scored by strikers at this point in the Premier League. That statistic wouldnâ€™t surprise many people even if it wasnâ€™t completely fabricated.
Front-line woes aside, four games without defeat has Everton back in to some kind of groove after consecutive losses and beating an in-form West Brom side away from home was a notable way to maintain that run. Perhaps the early season injury epidemic was something of a blessing in disguise as new recruits and youngsters forced in to action are now up to speed enough to make positive impressions from the bench. Seeing Victor Anichebe hit the net would have pleased the fans but few would who have watched his progress will be relying on the 23-year old hitting a vein of scoring unhinted at in his career to date.
Coincidentally, the last time an Everton striker scored in the league was Vellios in their 2-0 away win over Bolton back in November. The Greek teenager is their joint top league goalscorer and though he may not start he could be worth a small bet to score last at 11/2. Jack Rodwell almost scored against West Brom and if the rumours of a move are true heâ€™ll want to leave Merseyside, making him a decent bet at 5/1 to score anytime. Tim Cahill still hasnâ€™t scored so itâ€™s difficult, in good conscience, to tip him to score but it really does have to happen some time. 11/2 on the Aussie to score anyone? With Fellaini, Drenthe and Coleman doubts Moyes will likely give Landon Donovan a start. The American returns in good form, having played a central roll in the Galaxyâ€™s MLS Cup win, and heâ€™s 6/1 to make a positive second-first impression with the first goal. One thing you can be sure of is that heâ€™ll add some much needed variation to the attack.
Bolton have the second worse defence in the league and though their away form is noticeably better than their home form, the Trotters have still lost six of nine and conceded eighteen goals away from the Reebok. The key to Evertonâ€™s success remains their defensive solidity and if they can keep a clean sheet at evens then theyâ€™ll certainly get the chances to pick up all three points with a win at 4/7. One may even venture to back a repeat of the score in the reverse fixture, with 2-0 at 6/1 and Everton -1 goal 6/4.
Bolton wonâ€™t be a push-over but theyâ€™re clearly very vulnerable at the back this season and a solid but not necessarily spectacular performance should be enough to see Everton take this one with some degree of comfort. Or as comfortable as it gets for the Toffees.