Time is running out for Norwich in their fight against relegation – they headed into matchday 31 of the Premier League six points from safety.
Boss Daniel Farke has targeted five wins from his side’s last eight games and if that is to be achieved, this surely has to be one of the victories.
And there is plenty to encourage the hosts.
The fact that Everton played out a hard-fought draw with Liverpool on Sunday night means the hosts have had two extra days to prepare for this one. With temperatures due to stay well above 20C for the entire contest, this may well work in the home side’s favour.
Everton have a fairly lengthy injury list so won’t be able to make too many changes to their starting XI without significantly weakening their team.
The difference in price – the home win is at 29/10 and the away success 10/11 – looks too large.
Norwich represent the value.
If you accept that Everton, winners of only three of their 15 away games this season, may well fade as the match wears on, it may also pay to back the Canaries in the HT/FT market.
It will probably surprise readers to learn that Norwich have led at half time in eight of their 15 home games so far and so if they can repeat that trick there must be a good chance they can land odds of 11/2.
Everton already hold one of the league’s worst records in the second half of games so this merits consideration too.
*All prices correct at the time of writing and subject to change
Norwich’s slim survival hopes were dealt a blow as Everton kept their hopes of European football alive thanks to a Michael Keane header.
Daniel Farke’s side went into the game six points adrift of 19th place at the bottom of the table, and needing to force a win to narrow the gap.
The four changes made by Farke frustrated Everton in the first half as the visitors were kept at bay, but Keane’s nodded goal at the start of the second half gave the Toffees the lead.
The 27-year-old defender found himself unmarked and was able to turn a corner past Tim Krul in the Norwich net for his second Premier League goal of the season.
Carlo Ancelotti said before the game he believed that European football was a realistic target for his side and the win took them a step closer to reducing the gap, while Norwich’s struggles in front of goal continued. The Canaries have now scored just once in their last seven matches.
As with the previous round of Premier League fixtures, both sides took a knee as part of the Black Lives Matter, although the shirt names have returned to those of the players.
The game started evenly, with both sides enjoying periods of possession, although Norwich were largely penned back in their own half.
Everton almost looked to be caught out after Onel Hernandez weaved through the box before getting a shot away which deflected off the outside of Jordan Pickford’s post.
But that was the closest the home side came to breaking the deadlock in the first half, although Lukas Rupp tested Pickford with a long-range effort following a driving run, but the England goalkeeper was able to parry.
Unlike their previous game against Southampton, where a bright start petered out, Norwich were able to keep their early momentum going into the second half – but Everton took control as the game wore on.
The Canaries were unable to turn their first half chances into goals however, and were eventually punished for it when Keane was able to get above the Canaries defence and turn the ball past Tim Krul from a Lucas Digne corner.
Substitute Emiliano Buendia came close for Norwich to try to level the score after a quick one-two with Teemu Pukki – but the Argentinian was unable to get the shot away.
In one of the last chances to wrap up the game, Dominic Calvert-Lewin took a shot but his long distance drive was straight at Krul.
Norwich City 0-1 Everton | Premier League Highlights
Betting On Norwich City's Next Game
Boss Daniel Farke believe Norwich need a miracle to retain their top-flight status after their already slim survival hopes were dealt a further blow in a 1-0 home defeat to Everton.
The Canaries went into the game six points adrift of safety and needing a win to boost their chances of staying up, but Michael Keane’s header gave the visitors all three points.
“We’re disappointed with the result. I think today a loss is not a fair outcome of the game,” said Farke.
“We were solid, spirited. We looked pretty sharp in the first half. We were the better side with good chances. We deserved more at half time.
“In the second half, one set-piece was the difference. It was a disciplined, spirited performance full of desire. We are disappointed with the result but not with the performance. We tried everything today and more.”
The four changes made by Farke helped to frustrate Everton in the first half as the visitors were kept at bay, but Keane’s nodded goal at the start of the second half was enough for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Farke said before the restart that Norwich would need a miracle to stay up and after a second defeat, he said: “(We need) even a bit bigger miracle. After each time we lose the situation is not easier.
“We are not naive. We can judge this in a proper way. We are in two competitions, the FA Cup and the league. It’s not realistic for us to stay in this league, it’s not realistic for us to stay in the FA Cup, but as long as we have a chance, we try to be successful in both competitions.”
Everton manager Ancelotti was full of praise for his side after their win and second successive clean sheet.
Speaking after the match, the Italian said: “I think that I am pleased of course, happy. It was not easy to prepare this game.
“I knew that it was difficult, that we didn’t have the energy that we had against Liverpool. It’s really difficult in this period to prepare games every three days.
“We were a little bit slow in the first half, the second half was much better.”
The Toffees have now secured clean sheets in two successive matches and kept their narrow hopes of European football alive, as Ancelotti remains positive.
Ancelotti insisted Europe was still the main target, saying: “I think we need to have a goal, we need to have motivation.
“This is a fantastic achievement, to be able to reach it will be difficult. The teams above us are not so far but we need to run fast.”