Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

The Punter: Stick with Everton to edge out Spurs in the race for top four finish

David Moyes' current Everton deal expires in the summer

The Toffees got out of a sticky situation in dramatic fashion with two injury-time strikes which left Spurs fans gutted, Everton ending a dismal run of draws and, at the same time, boosting their hopes of a place in the 2013-14 Champions League.

That late victory on Sunday pushes them ahead of Spurs on goal difference and yet they are 5/1 for a top-four spot compared to 6/4 Tottenham.

It does not need a mathematician to see where the best bet lies and, in maintaining their unbeaten home record, Everton have good cause to be optimistic of top European action next season.

Everton were matched for £2 at 390 (389/1) in the last couple of minutes when 1-0 down, illustrating again the dangers of taking this crazy football game for granted.

David Moyes has done a remarkable job at Goodsion with limited resources and it's no wonder he's seen by many as an ideal replacement for Sir Alex Ferguson when he steps down from his Old Trafford fiefdom. The bookies make Moyes second favourite at 4/1 behind Pep Guardiola (7/2).

Another title in the bag at the end of May and Sir Alex may feel he has had enough.

The red and white ribbons are being readied after ‘Van the Man' drove a vital stake into the heart of City's hopes of retaining their crown with that late winner last Sunday.

Van Persie has been the buy of the season and comparison with Mario Barlotelli must leave City boss Roberto Mancini saying ‘if only.'

Mancini's decision to start with the Italian rather than Carlos Tevez was the difference between winning and losing — and surely even his patience with Barlotelli is at an end.

United, with their six point lead, have been cut from 10/11 to 4/7 to be champions and 6/4 not to be. RVP's strike cost bookies a tidy fortune and has seen City pushed out to 9/4 for the title and 16/1 for a league and FA Cup double.

Forget that and instead concentrate on 1/2 for no silverware come May.

After breaking Gerd Muller's 40-year-old record for most goals — 85 — in a calendar year, Lionel Messi is just 2/1 to better that in 2013 and 4/6 to ever play for an English team. But it's hard to see him being persuaded to leave Barcelona.

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