So much is riding on the big game at Goodison

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A run of five consecutive Premier League victories for Everton allied with a wobble for Arsenal has reopened the race for a Champions League place.

And given that the Toffees are currently four points adrift of the Gunners with a game in hand, the pair’s mouth watering showdown at Goodison Park on Sunday now has an enormous amount riding on it.

Everton’s strong home record means they’re slender favourites at 6/4 with Stan James while the north London outfit are as high as 15/8 at BetVictor and bet365 mark 12/5 against a stalemate.

In the pair’s league meeting at the Emirates Stadium earlier this term and also in last season’s corresponding Merseyside fixture the two teams drew 1-1, a result that BetVictor price at a potentially popular 13/2 this time around.

Alternatively, Ladbrokes’s offer 9/2 about the teams being inseparable at the end of each half and it’s 10/3 courtesy of bet365 to be a score draw.

Nevertheless, the momentum is with Roberto Martinez’s men who are worth an interest at 4/5 in Stan James’ ‘Draw No Bet’ market and for punters that believe the Blues will do the business, they’re 10/3 at Skybet to shade it by a one-goal margin.

Betway, meanwhile, rate Everton’s on-loan front man Romelu Lukaku at an enticing 5/1 to break the deadlock.

Results last weekend couldn’t have gone better for Liverpool, who capitalised on Chelsea’s defeat at Crystal Palace and the stalemate between Arsenal and Manchester City by hammering Tottenham 4-0 to climb to the top the table.

Bet365 reacted by slashing the Reds to 15/8 to clinch the Premier League crown (City are BetVictor’s 5/6 favourites) and bookies are confident that Brendan Rodgers’s troops will force their title odds down yet further on Sunday, Ladbrokes quoting them at just 4/9 to rack up a ninth straight victory, at West Ham.

The Hammers are 15/2 via to halt Liverpool’s momentum by coming out on top at Upton Park, where Stan James post 19/5 against the league leaders only managing to share the spoils.

But, although the hosts have carded back-to-back wins, it’s hard to oppose Rodgers’ rampant team in light of their current form.

The visitors are set to attract cash then at 8/5 (William Hill) to prevail ‘to nil’, they’re evens at Paddy Power to lead at the end of each half and BetVictor price Rodgers’s side at 17/2 to net twice without reply.

Four points behind Liverpool, albeit having played a couple of games less, Manchester City can ill afford to slip-up at home to Southampton and Stan James make them 1/3 to send Saints home empty-handed.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men, however, can make life awkward for the home side, who are 17/5 (William Hill) to emerge triumphant following a level first period.

Chelsea can also keep their title hopes alive by defeating Stoke – a result rate at 2/9 and they combine with City and Liverpool in a treble at 27/20 (Ladbrokes).

At St James’s Park, Manchester United are 10/11 with Skybet to temporarily move into the top six at Tottenham’s expense by seeing off Newcastle but Spurs can leapfrog United again on Monday when they’re 8/15 at Paddy Power as they host beleaguered Sunderland.

At the bottom, betway’s 7/5 chances Cardiff get the nod in their six-pointer with Crystal Palace, go 47/20 about an inconclusive affair as Norwich entertain West Brom and rock-bottom Fulham are overpriced at 10/3 via BetVictor to land a maximum haul at Aston Villa.

Hull and Swansea, finally, are 9/4 at bet365 to be inseparable at the KC Stadium.

Lewis Hamilton’s victory in a Mercedes-dominated Malaysian Grand Prix, means the Brit has been cut to 5/4 by betway to win the 2014 Drivers Championship and his team-mate Nico Rosberg, who currently heads the standings, is a 3/1 shot at BetVictor.

The Formula One season moves on to Bahrain this weekend and Hamilton is Skybet’s 11/10 favourite to make it back-to-back triumphs while William Hill, perhaps not surprisingly, quote just 3/10 for Mercedes to again be the winning car.

The Heineken Cup reaches the quarter-final stage this week and bookies are predicting a clean sweep of home wins.

Stan James rate Munster at 4/7 to see off Toulouse in Saturday’s first game, it’s just 1/7 at bet365 for Leicester to be eliminated at Clermont and William Hill quote 8/13 about an Ulster success against Saracens.

Finally, on Sunday, Paddy Power post 1/2 against Toulon, who host Leinster and a four-fold accumulator involving all four of the hosts is 13/4 at Ladbrokes.

Bet of the week: Heineken Cup fourfold on Munster, Ulster, Clermont & Toulon at 13/4 (Ladbrokes).

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