Everton v Liverpool – Goodison Park at 13:30 live on Sky Sports 1
The Merseyside Derby kicks off a massive Super Sunday double header on Sky Sports this weekend, as Brendan Rodgers takes his underwhelming Liverpool side to Goodison Park to face their old rivals Everton.
Roberto Martinez’s side are on a nice little run of four Premier League games without defeat and so, should come into the Derby with great confidence about turning over their neighbours and inflicting further damage to Rodgers’s crumbling regime.
However, Everton have concerns of their own despite this current run of undefeated form. They drew blanks at both Swansea and Tottenham, while they were staring down the barrel at 2-0 down against West Brom on Monday night before a miraculous comeback saw them claim an unlikely three points.
Liverpool’s woes seem to have been going on for a very long time and even though star striker Daniel Sturridge returned to the side with a bang (see his best goal here), scoring twice in the 3-2 win over Aston Villa last weekend. That was the Reds only win in their last eight games in all competitions.
Naturally, the pressure is mounting on Brendan Rodgers and should his team lose the Derby he will be very close to the end of his tenure at Anfield. He is already the current second favourite to leave his post as manager at 3.25, only Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat is shorter in the market.
In recent seasons, the Derby has been a very close contest with five of the last six ending with honours even. The other match finished 4-0 to Liverpool at Anfield, a game which I was lucky enough to attend and one in which, a very young John Stones got ripped to shreds.
Everton have W1 D2 L1 at home so far this season and have a zero goal difference, but last term the Toffee’s went W7 D7 L5 with a +6 goal difference. That home form is obviously nothing to get too excited about, however their home record against teams in the top six was W1 D3 L2 and shows how they often raise their game to avoid defeat in the big matches.
Liverpool’s woes this season have already been mentioned, but they also struggled last year when playing away at mid table type teams, losing at Stoke, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Newcastle. They also drew at Everton and West Brom, so their form does not fill me with confidence.
On the injury front Everton are still missing Leighton Baines, Tom Cleverley and Steven Pienaar, plus Seamus Coleman and John Stones will need to pass late fitness tests before Martinez can pick them. For Liverpool, Rodgers will again be without Jordan Henderson, Dejan Lovren, Cristian Benteke and Roberto Firmino. So, he could well name an unchanged side from last weekend.
Looking at the betting markets for this match, Everton are currently priced up as 2.80 favourites to claim all three points while Liverpool can be backed at 2.90. On the Asian handicap line, the Toffees can be backed at 1.93 on the +/-0 (DNB) line.
Based on my model price of 1.68 on Everton draw no bet, the 1.93 represents fantastic value on the home team this Sunday. Having checked the teams form and trends, I am more than happy to put my hard earned cash on Roberto Martinez’s side in a match where I think that a draw is the worst case scenario.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Everton +/- 0 (DNB) at 1.93
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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