Goodison Park – Saturday 7th February at 17:30 live on Sky Sports 1
The Merseyside Derby is traditionally one of the highlights on the Premier League fixture list and this weekend’s encounter has been eagerly awaited by both the blue and red halves of the area.
However, both sets of fans are looking forward to the big match for very different reasons. Everton’s season so far has been nothing short of a huge disappointment, Roberto Martinez in his 2nd year as the manager seems to have transplanted all the bad defensive issues that his Wigan team suffered from, over to the Toffee’s.
Martinez, his players and the Everton fans will look at this hotly contested Derby as the perfect opportunity to get their faultering year back on track. Meanwhile Liverpool’s seasons is heading in the right direction, just at the right time of the year.
Brendan Rodgers team had struggled to find their best form without star striker Daniel Sturridge in the line-up but with Philip Countinho and Raheem Sterling chipping in with goals, they have kept themselves in the hunt for a Champions League place. Now that Sturridge is back to full fitness, the Reds will be feeling confident of finishing the season strongly.
Everton are without a win in 9 games against their local rivals and with just 1 win in their last 7 Premier League games, even the most diehard of fans can be forgiven for expecting the worst on Saturday evening. Liverpool can back up their impressive H2H record with their recent form which reads P7 W5 D2 L0 and they have scored 14 and conceded just 5 during this run.
Everton have just 3 wins at home in the league this season and only 1 of those has come against a team in the top half of the table. In comparison to this, Liverpool have 6 away wins so far but they too have struggled against teams in the top half with the 3-0 win at Spurs their only top half away win.
With Everton’s defence in a state of flux and Liverpool welcoming back Sturridge, it’s hard to see how the Toffee’s can out score their neighbours this weekend. Even though they have scored 2 or more goals on 6 occasions so far at Goodison this season, Liverpool’s possession football should limit their opportunities to find the back of the net.
Derby games are generally very tough to call and although it would be a major shock if Everton won the match, it might make more sense to put your hard earned cash on the goal markets instead.
Recommendation: Over 2.5 Goals at 1.98 and Liverpool -0.25 at 1.98
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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