High-flying Premier League outfit Everton welcome Championship strugglers Rotherham United to Goodison Park this weekend in the third round of the FA Cup. Can we treat this one as a gimme for the hosts, or do the Millers stand a chance of causing a famous cup upset on Merseyside?
Where and when: Goodison Park – 9 January, kick-off 12:00
Where you can see Everton vs. Rotherham: BT Sport
Last time: These clubs last met in the second round of the League Cup in August 2018, with a much-changed Everton cruising to a comfortable 3-1 victory at Goodison.
Everton v Rotherham Predictions and Preview
Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a brace when these teams last met, accounting for two of his eight goals from 38 appearances in all competitions across the 2018/19 campaign. This season, the 23-year-old Everton striker already has 14 goals in 19 games and has been capped by his country.
The question is whether he starts this FA Cup tie with Rotherham United, or his newfound status means he’s first in line for a rest. Indeed, the team Carlo Ancelotti puts out could influence the entire structure of this game, and how it pans out.
The Everton manager is very likely to make some changes, but if he names a strong starting line-up with the intent of getting the job done nice and early, this could be a long day at the office for Rotherham.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
Everton to win to nil
Everton to win 3-0
Everton to win both halves
On the other hand, should the Toffees boss ring the changes, it could give the Millers the confidence they need to go out and put in the type of performance which could lead to a shock. The empty stands won’t motivate either team, but that should play into the visitors’ hands.
Away wins have become far more common during the pandemic, but it’s probably stretching it to suggest that tilts the odds in Rotherham’s favour. The Millers are second from bottom in the Championship, albeit with at least two games in hand on a raft of teams above them.
Paul Warne’s side were only promoted to the second tier from League One for the start of this season, having spent the last few campaigns yo-yoing between the two divisions. That’s better than their six-year stretch in League Two between 2007/08 and 2012/13, but there’s no disguising their struggles.
The Millers come into this Everton v Rotherham preview on the back of one win in their last nine games, losing seven. Everton, meanwhile, lost their first Premier League game in six last time out, going down 1-0 at home to West Ham United.
The Toffees won four in a row before that, against Chelsea, Leicester City, Arsenal and Sheffield United. That impressive run may have been punctuated by their Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester United, but Everton are up in seventh in the Premier League table and having an excellent campaign.
The home team are the 2/5 favourites with William Hill to win this game inside 90 minutes. Rotherham’s chances aren’t helped by their lengthy injury list, which currently includes three coronavirus-related absentees.
The Millers are 7/1 for the win, with the draw at the end of normal time priced at 4/1. There are no replays this year due to the pandemic, with Everton 2/11 to qualify for the next round and Rotherham available at 9/2.
One to watch for Everton: Amid the potential for changes, Alex Iwobi is one player who could get the nod to start this game. The Nigerian is 10/1 to take his chance by opening the scoring in these Everton v Rotherham predictions.
One to watch for Rotherham: Freddie Ladapo is Rotherham’s joint top scorer after netting four times in 18 Championship appearances so far this term. He notched 17 in all competitions last term and 19 the season before, and is 9/1 to break the deadlock in this game.
Long shot: Any form of Rotherham victory constitutes a significant long shot. If the Millers are going to cause a cup upset, they’re surely going to have to defend with their lives and take one of the rare chances which come their way. Rotherham are 25/1 to win this game 1-0, rising to an eye-watering 209/1 with Ladapo getting the goal.