It looks to be one of the most one-sided Merseyside derby’s we’ve seen in years but can The Toffees raise their game and dent Liverpool’s title hopes in the process?
Everton are at a stage now in their season where their results have very little impact on the outcome of their season, they’re merely playing for league position. A mammoth 17 points outside the top six but still 11 clear of the relegation zone their season has fizzled out completely. It’s overall been a very disappointing season for The Blues, particularly given the amount of money that they spent over the summer. They look a far cry from the team that was banging on the door of the top six, a team that did so with much less financial backing. However, to say they have nothing to play for would be to discount Everton’s sheer desire to do everything possible to stop Liverpool winning the league.
Despite just two wins in their last seven in all competitions, expect there to be a raucous atmosphere inside Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon. This may not be the closest the teams have ever been, but this is a game that Everton fans will want their team to win more than any other in recent memory.
By the time the game kicks off Liverpool could already be down to second and the pressure will be on them to win and reclaim their top spot. No surprises to see that Everton are the massive underdogs for this match, they’re out at 5.5 to win.
It’s an outrageous 18 games in all competitions since Liverpool lost a game to their city rivals, a run of fixtures that leaves Everton fans reminiscing back to 2010 for the last time they were victorious. In that time a lot of the games have been very close, but Liverpool always seemed to find that extra gear or bit of quality to overcome their opponents. Earlier in this season it was a blunder from Jordan Pickford that gifted Liverpool the win in the dying embers of the game. There have been under 2.5 goals in nine of the last 11 meetings between these two at Goodison Park a selection you can back at a price of 1.85. Also, five of the last six at the same venue have ended with a share of the spoils, a draw can be found at 3.75.
Liverpool have lost just one game all season and have kept three consecutive clean sheets. Their emergence as true contenders this season has been down to their solidity at the back, largely thanks to Virgil Van Dijk who will be partnered again by Joel Matip in the heart of defence. They will face some pressure though, against an Everton side who are off the back of a 3-0 away win at Cardiff.
Liverpool are bolstered by the return of Roberto Firmino who missed the 5-0 drubbing of Watford in midweek, Jordan Henderson will be keen to force his way back in to the side as well after being dropped on Wednesday. Fabinho will continue in midfield after a stint at centre back, with Gini Wijnaldum making up the trio in the middle of the park. Naby Keita is available too but looks unlikely to force his way in to the side.
Everton see the return of Kurt Zouma at centre back after serving his suspension, the Frenchman will likely replace Phil Jagielka and slot in alongside Micheal Keane. The Toffee’s main decision comes in their midfield, Idrissa Gueye was exceptional against Cardiff but his partner in the holding role isn’t confirmed. Morgan Schneiderlin offers more defensive stability but Andre Gomes has the potential to have more of an impact on the game going forward, the decision on which one Marco Silva goes for could signal what his intentions are.
Liverpool draw no bet @ 1.2
Handicap draw +1 @ 3.4
Under 2.5 goals @ 1.85