Are Everton in the Relegation Battle?

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According to David Moyes they are after Sunday’s 2-0 defeat away at Bolton. I don’t think that the bookies agree with Moyes’ view though.

Depending on who you bet with, there is 9 or 10 teams all at shorter odds than Everton are to be relegated. Although Everton are not having their greatest season, they are surely too strong to go down – or to put it another way, there are far worse teams than Everton in the premier league.

There are differing views in the world of the layers though, Bet365 have Everton at 25/1, while Sky Bet are as short as 11/1 for Moyes’ team to go down. On the whole, the price is around the 16 – 20/1 mark.

Personally I think 11/1 on Everton going down is a joke, it is way too short and dosen’t represent good value, especially when you compare it too the 25/1 on offer – which I also wouldn’t touch.

For me there main weakness is obvious, their lack of goals. They have a serious lack of strikers and this weakness is further exposed by the fitness record of their main striker, Louis Saha.

His dodgy record was again highlighted last week with him straining a hamstring and looking like he will be missing for another 2 weeks.

For Everton fans I suppose it’s a good thing that Moyes is taking their current form and league position seriously. Too say that they are in a relegation battle shows that he isn’t taking anything for granted and isn’t just relying on the fact that there are some awful teams around them.

There comes a point in the season when to hit a run of bad form could be terminal for your chances of survival – and that time is fast approaching. To get into a bad rut now would be disasterous and I think that judging by his remarks, Moyes recognises this.

Fulham and Villa have started to pick up, Birmingham are starting to pull away with their late goals and even West Ham seem to have started to turn the corner. Wigan and Wolves also look capable of getting big results on their day, but they don’t seem to be consistent enough.

On a brighter note for Everton, Blackpool seem to be heading towards the relegation zone and there is always a chance that Newcastle could find themselves down there too.

With 11 teams only seperated by 6 points it does look like it’s going to be an exciting relegation battle.

Last chance for Hull

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Needing to make up 4 points – from an available 9 – on West Ham just to be in with a chance of staying up, victory over Sunderland is a must for Hull today.

After today’s game, Hull have are away to Wigan (3rd May), and then at home to Liverpool (9th May). You would have to imagine the majority of Hull’s points will need to come today, and against Wigan.

West Ham are at home to Wigan today, they then travel to Fulham (2nd May), before entertaining Man City on the 9th May. The Hammers know that if results go their way today, with their goal difference (21 goals better than Hull), they will be safe.

The question for West Ham is, can they handle the pressure? If Hull slip up again, can West Ham capitalise on it?

Latest relegation betting has Hull at 1/7 to go down with Betfred and Paddy Power. West Ham are 5/1 with Stan James, Bet365 and Skybet.

Hull are 7/5 with Bet365, William Hill, Blue Sq and 888 Sport to beat Sunderland today. West Ham are a best price of 17/20 with William Hill to beat Wigan today.

Fair play to you Mick

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Despite giving him a bit of stick on this blog in the past, I have to give Mick McCarthy credit where credit is due. To find a run of form at this stage of the season as Wolves have done is priceless and it looks to have set them up for another season in the top flight.

Wolves’ win over West Ham tonight gave them their 7th point from their last three away games. In the last 11 days, Wolves have won 2-1 at Burnley, held Villa to a 2-2 draw, and now tonights 3-1 win.

Surely in their wildest dreams they would have optimistically hoped at best for a maximum of 4 points from a run of three away games.

In my view Wolves are almost safe as this latest win puts them 7 points clear of the bottom three, and with a far better goal difference as well.

Add to that the form of Kevin Doyle, despite only scoring twice this year he is in good form and is leading the line well, but more importantly the team are now starting to find the net more regularly.

With Everton visiting Molineux on Saturday, Wolves good run of form will be again tested, 3 points from that one might well be enough to stay up, although I think McCarthy would want 6 to be sure.

But what a stage of the season to put a run of results like that together at, Wolves are now out to 6/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral to be relegated, I certainly wouldn’t be putting anything on that outcome.