Despite beating Arsenal with ease yesterday and putting the outcome of a Top 4 finish in their own hands, Everton still find themselves comfortably in second place when it comes to the betting for a Top 4 finish.
Arsenal still hold 4th place ahead of Everton, but only by 1 point, and Everton have a game in hand along with – maybe more crucially – a better goal difference (Everton are +21, Arsenal are +16).
All these hammerings Arsenal have taken against their main title rivals (originally), and now Top 4 rivals, could well come back to haunt them.
A five goals swing in Everton’s favour at this stage of the season could be very crucial, and shows just how bad Arsenal were yesterday, as just one goal back for them would have seen the goal difference gap close by two goals.
Despite all this, the bookies still have Arsenal as favourites to claim 4th place. They are odds on everywhere, and the 4/6 available with William Hill and BetVictor is the best price around at the moment.
Everton are obviously odds against, and the 8/5 with Ladbrokes is the stand out price on the Toffeemen making the top 4. If you are an eternal optimist, Man Utd are 33/1 and Tottenham are 50/1.
Everton still have to host both Manchester United and City in the run in, while the Gunners have now finished their daunting run of matches, and have a relatively easier looking run in – this is no doubt part of the reason why Everton are regarded as the outsiders.
That said, Everton are the form side, while Arsenal looked pretty toothless yesterday and also have a lot of injuries to contend with.
Can Everton be trusted to keep up this form though? They are inexperienced in this type of run in, while Arsenal regularly leave it this late to secure Champions League football, and therefore know what to do in these situations.
There are pros and cons in both camps, but on the whole I can see why Arsenal have maintained favouritism in this market.
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