Coming off their 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea last weekend, Everton will be feeling confident of beating in-form Blackpool in their FA Cup fifth round clash at Goodison Park this Saturday.
That win makes it six without loss for the Toffees while at home they have now won four and drawn one of their last five matches in all competitions. Having home advantage in this tie could prove crucial with the Tangerines on a thirteen game unbeaten run of their own. Ian Holloway has been sorely missed from Match of the Day if he can maintain his sideâ€™s current form heâ€™ll be back on our screens to add some Saturday night comedy relief next season.
There isnâ€™t much to go on in the way of recent form between the two sides but Everton did win 5-3 at Goodison Park last season, Blackpoolâ€™s only stint in the Premier League to date. A repeat of that scoreline is a massive 325/1 but without the men who scored the goals, Louis Saha (four) and Jermaine Beckford (one), five goals may be a bit of stretch. Everton have yet to score more than five goals in a game this season, with their success built more on the solidity of their backline. There was certainly more of an attacking threat against Chelsea with the returning Stephen Pienaar and the emerging Denis Stracqualursi adding extra dimensions and goals. Landon Donovan had a really positive impact during his loan spell but sadly he has returned to his parent club LA Galaxy for pre-season training.
Pienaar is cup-tied for this game, leaving Stracqualarsi as the only option from the three players mentioned. The Argentine is 9/2 to open the scoring. We may see a first start for the newly acquired Nikica Jelavic. The Croation was in flying form for Rangers before his arrival in January and playing against lower-league opposition may be the perfect opportunity to open his Everton account. Heâ€™s also 9/2 to score first but if heâ€™s on the bench at the start then you can get the same price of 9/2 for him to come on and score last.
Blackpool have scored a lot of goals on their travels this season but theyâ€™ve conceded just as many in the league, for a total of fifty-four goals in fifteen away games. Maybe that 5-3 score-line isnâ€™t so far fetched after all. Everton to win 2-1 at 7/1 may be a little closer to the mark though.
Despite his great work at Goodison Park, David Moyes has yet to lift any silverware. He came close to winning the FA Cup in 2009, losing to Chelsea in the final, and thereâ€™s no reason why he canâ€™t go one better this time round. Heâ€™ll need to guide his side past Blackpool at 4/9 first. Do that and Evertonâ€™s future in this seasonâ€™s FA Cup wonâ€™t be orange but it will be bright.