FOOTBALL

AUTHOR: davidstewart

STAR PREVIEW Thurs: Everton v Boreham Wood

Boreham Wood will be seeking another FA Cup upset on Thursday night, but face their toughest challenge yet when they travel to Goodison Park to face Premier League side Everton.

Luke Garrard’s men caused the shock of the Fourth Round when beating Championship side AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

Veteran midfielder Mark Ricketts’ side-footed effort from the edge of the box in the first-half enough to send the Wood into the Fifth Round for the first time in their history.

Boreham Wood’s league form – as you’ll be aware of if you’ve been following our weekly National League betting previews – has also been very strong in recent weeks. They currently sit fourth in the National League table; eight points behind the current league leaders but with three games in hand.

Boyhood Everton supporter Kane Smith, who was seen wearing a Tony Hibbert shirt in the celebrations after the win against Bournemouth, faces a race against time to be fit for this match. He went off injured against Maidenhead last month and has not featured since.

Former Premier League striker Nile Ranger is expected to be included in the matchday squad, although Scott Boden and Tyrone Marsh – who have been star performers for the Wood this season – are the players likely to form the starting strike partnership at Goodison Park.

Everton v Boreham Wood
FA Cup Fifth Round
8.15pm ITV / STV / ITV Hub / STV Player

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
First-ever meeting between two sides

Everton will be hoping that a cup run may boost their confidence as they prepare for a tense final furlong in their fight to retain their Premier League status.

Frank Lampard’s side have really struggled this season and are nervously looking over their shoulder, desperate not to drop into the bottom-three and lose their proud record of playing in the top-flight in every season since 1954.

They were unlucky not to come away with anything against Manchester City last week with Head of PGMOL Mike Riley issuing an apology to Everton after they were denied a penalty for what appeared to be a clear handball against Cityzens midfielder Rodri in the last few minutes.

However, the Toffees need points and need them fast as they slowly but surely get sucked closer and closer to the dreaded drop-zone.

For this FA Cup clash, you can expect Lampard to make changes and rest his key men for the important upcoming Premier League fixtures. Fringe players such as Jarrad Branthwaite, Nathan Patterson and Asmir Begovic are likely to come into the side here.

Anything can happen in this competition, but Everton should have more than enough to get past Boreham Wood on Thursday night. That said, with the Toffees’ focus lying elsewhere and lots of change expected in their defence, it wouldn’t be massively surprising to see Boreham Wood score a goal.

We’re backing Everton to win but both teams to score with a correct scoreline of 4-1 to Lampard’s side.


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