When you search for positives to promote this match and still discover Nikica Jelavic heads the First Goalscorer market, you know it’s time to dig a little deeper.

Here goes. In head-to-heads, Everton have four home wins against Manchester City in the last six games, drawing once and losing once. That’s solid form, and Roberto Mancini’s galacticos come into the game not exactly stuttering but hardly firing on all cylinders with three wins, two draws and one defeat in their last six.

All this makes Everton 23/10 for a home win, the draw 12/5, and City to win at 23/20 in Paddy Power’s online betting. So, punters looking for value might fancy the Everton ‘not to lose’ market at 4/6.

But really, we’re looking at long shots here, which is where Darron Gibson comes in, if he can find his shooting boots this season. The Irishman scored in the corresponding fixture last season and sealed a 1-0 win. Everton to win and Gibson anytime is a 12/1 shot with Paddy who’s been too busy on Papal matters to price up this game properly.

To their credit, Everton fans applauded Wigan’s ballsy 3-0 FA Cup win at Goodison Park last weekend. But that defeat leaves David Moyes not just with a contract dilemma, but a selection headache up front and in midfield.

Jelavic has scored just six goals in the Premier League this season in 27 games, but still leads Paddy’s Everton First Goalscorer market for Saturday at 7/1, or 9/4 anytime. Partner in crime Victor Anichebe was bullish after the defeat to Wigan he had Manchester City in his sights, saying: “It will be a good game to bounce back.”

If you fancy him to take the bull by the horns (or a bit of wishful thinking) in Paddy’s Scorecast market, then a 1-1 draw with Anichebe first is a 40/1 shot.

Veteran Phil Neville (36) says the club’s ambition is still for European football at Goodison Park next season, even if the Champions League might be beyond the seventh-place side.

“The Champions League place is in the distance, a European place, we would take that now,” Neville said this week. “It’s what we have been going for all season, making sure that next season there is European football being played at Everton. That’s our aim and remains our aim.”

Lying seventh, some fans still fancy their chances against Manchester City, especially with the title wrapped up. Typically, victory in these games comes by the odd goal, so it’s worth a look at the timing of the first goal for value bets. On average, Everton score their first goal at home in the 36th minute (10/11), while City concede away around the 32nd minute.

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