Everton vs. Boreham Wood Predictions: Potential upset on the card in the FA Cup
Everton vs Boreham Wood Odds
The penultimate game of the round of 16 pits Premier League Everton against Boreham Wood of the National League in a gargantuan FA Cup fixture with giant killing potential.
Everton vs Boreham Wood Tips
- Boreham Wood -0.5 Cards, Asian Card Handicap - 1pts at 1.850 with Bet365
- Kane Smith Card - 6/1 with Bet365
- Jarrad Branthwaite Card - 10/1 with Bet365
- Taye Ashby-Hammond Card - 14/1 with Bet365
- Ashby-Hammond Card, Boreham Wood Double Chance & Over 0 Cards in Match for Both Teams Combined - 110/1 with Bet365
In the competition's 151-year history, only once has a club languishing in non-league made it to the quarter-finals and that was Lincoln City in 2016/17. The Imps nicked a late goal at Turf Moor to secure their place in folklore. In similar circumstances, Boreham Wood head to Goodison Park on Thursday evening.
The visitors are yet to concede on their route to Merseyside, besting Barnet (National League), Eastleigh (National League), St Albans City (National League South), AFC Wimbledon (League One) and Bouremouth (Championship) by an aggregate scoreline of 10-0.
Luke Garrard could be without last rounds match-winner Mark Ricketts and Everton fan Kane Smith, however, is hopeful both will feature in some capacity.
Tactically, Garrard was audacious at the Vitality opting to press high to devastating effect as his side took a first half league. As the game progressed the Wood regressed, as expected, but it remains to be seen if he will favour a similar approach vs Everton.
As for the hosts, Frank Lampard's third managerial role has got mixed reviews so far. It got off to an ideal start as his Toffee side thumped Brentford 4-1 in the last round of this competition. They then lost at St James’ Park, beat Leeds comfortably before back-to-back defeats courtesy of Southampton and then Manchester City.
There were plenty of positives to take from the most recent defeat though, not least the performance of Abdoulaye Doucouré who should get the nod in midfield here. Elsewhere, Donny van de Beek, Dele Alli and Anwar El Ghazi cup-tied, the likes of Jarrad Branthwaite and Nathan Patterson could be handed starts with plenty of regulars sidelined with injury.
Quality over quantity is one of the best long-term, sustainable ways to maximise profits in betting, however, given how tough I have found this one to crack, I have opted for the latter here alongside my NAP. Hopefully, providing some food for thought along with some fun punts to enhance what should be a cracking clash.
Boreham Wood may not have shipped a goal in their cup run yet but they have picked up a fair few cards since the first round, eight to be exact, winning the card count twice.
In the last round they got three times as many cards as the Cherries in a fixture where they only saw 18% of the ball yet conceded 15 fouls, six more than the Cherries. I think this correlation between a lack of possession to a high fouls count and subsequently superior card count will continue at Goodison Park.
As you head further down the footballing pyramid, the amount of time the football is actually in play decreases. Therefore, when you pit a side at the top of it against one in the fifth tier, the lower league side will not have content with the superior quality but will literally have to concentrate for longer.
I think this is why we saw Boreham Wood rack up the cards on the South Coast and I think it will happen again in the North West.
Kane Smith is an Evertonian so the chance of playing a competitive fixture at Goodison Park may be emotionally overwhelming.
In the past five seasons at Boreham Wood, he has amassed 18 cards in 110 appearances, which makes the 6/1 with Bet365 value and that does not take the emotion of the occasion or the quality of the opposition into consideration.
As previously mentioned, Smith did limp off injured on February 19 and has not featured since so keep an eye on the team news. However, his supremo is hopeful he will feature in some capacity on Thursday, so it could be one to back in-play.
In their victory against Bournemouth, striker Scott Boden played a monumental role.
Boden made a nuisance of himself all evening, keeping hold of the ball, drawing fouls, getting his side up the pitch and generally relieving the pressure on the non-league side. He drew the card as he rolled Nat Phillips, forcing the Liverpool-loanee to cynically drag him down otherwise Boden would have been bearing down on goal.
Given Jarrad Branthwaite lack of experience, he may also fall foul to Boreham’s focal points guile.
It is worth pointing out that Everton’s defender did not pick up a card in 900 minutes of Championship action whistle on loan at Blackburn last season, though his only two professional cards to date came during his time at Carlisle United in the fourth tier.
With Boden 12 years Branthwaite’s senior, the 19-year-old centre back could be in for a difficult evening.
A keeper card, the old faithful, but this one does have plenty of substance.
Taye Ashby-Hammond was loaned from Fulham to Boreham Wood following an injury to their number one Nathan Ashmore. 19 appearances and 14 clean sheets later and Ashmore cannot get his spot back.
Since joining in late October, Ashby-Hammond has conceded just five goals in 1,710 minutes of action in between the sticks, that is an average of one per 342 minutes played!
He has featured in every minute of Wood’s FA Cup run thus far and boasts a 100% save percentage from the ten shots on target he has faced. Whilst this does leave little doubt over his shot stopping ability, his gamesmanship could use some improvement, as his antics in the last round demonstrated.
At the Vitality Stadium, he was carded in the 86th minute for time wasting. Most keepers have gotten pretty coy when it comes to this dark art, Nottingham Forest's Brice Samba and Huddersfield Town’s Lee Nicholls are masters at it.
Keepers time-wasting techniques include, but are not limited to; faking an injury, talking to the linesman, banging the mud off their studs via the goal frame, dropping/throwing the ball back into the crowd after it has been returned or the old faithful drink.
A relatively new addition to this list sees said keeper set up as though they are going to play the ball short. This includes getting the centre backs as close to them as possible, shaping up to play a five yard pass before at the last second having a change of heart and pushing everybody back up the pitch. This simultaneously eats into crucial seconds, whilst deceiving the officials into thinking that the keepers are actually doing something.
Ashby-Hammond did not really utilise any of these options in the fourth-round, instead opting for the more blatant approach of just lining up to take a kick, then waiting until the referee hurried him along. Eventually, and unsurprisingly, patience wore thin and he was carded.
Given the magnitude of the fixture, Boreham Wood may deploy shit-housery of the highest degree here, making a keeper card a play from the off.
If you want something with a bit more meat, you can combine a Ashby-Hammond card with Boreham Wood double chance and the game to feature at least a card at 110/1 via Bet365’s bet builder.
The obvious risk with this is that the visitors may never be in a position to waste time but at an eye-watering 110/1 it might be worth taking a gamble.
Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly.
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