Sunday, June 7, 2020

Prediction: Everton vs Liverpool

Verdict: Liverpool Win and Over 2.5 Goals

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmakers: William Hill

Everton welcome their eternal rivals Liverpool to Goodison Park for a Merseyside derby at the business end of the season. The home side look to have survived their early relegation worries but have been struggling in recent weeks. The Reds meanwhile have been flying and currently sit third in the table, scoring goals for fun and tearing teams apart. These encounters are always intense affairs and this one promises to be no different.

Everton

The Toffees are having a distinctly average season and will count themselves extremely disappointed, especially after their extensive spending in the summer. Sam Allardyce’s side currently sit ninth in the table and seem set to fade into mid-table obscurity, which in fairness is a lot better than being involved in a relegation fight as they were for much of the early season. With 53 goals conceded, Big Sam has done little to improve Everton defensively, and their 38 goals scored mean they aren’t exactly prolific going forward either.

The Merseyside club’s recent form has been inconsistent at best with four wins, one draw and seven defeats in their last 12 top-flight matches. That stretch has included 5-1 and 4-0 losses to Arsenal and Tottenham respectively, resulting in a total of 23 goals conceded. This is uncharacteristic of Allardyce sides and Everton can probably count themselves lucky that there are so many sides below them that are struggling. Unfortunately for the Goodison Park crowd their side may be in for a thrashing this weekend.

Team News

In defence Mason Holgate has an ankle injury that will keep him out of this game, while Eliaquim Mangala is out for the long-term with a knee issue.

Elsewhere Gylfi Sigurdsson looks set to miss out with a knee problem and Idrissa Gueye will likely face a late fitness test. James McCarthy remains side-lined with a broken leg.

Liverpool

After their romping 3-0 win over Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday night, Jurgen Klopp’s side will be on a high heading into this game, which is bad news for Everton. The Reds have netted a remarkable 75 goals in their 32 Premier League games this season, including 29 in their last 12 in the top-flight. That tally has helped them climb to third in the table and they currently sit two points behind Manchester United and two points ahead of Tottenham, having played a game more than those two clubs. A top four finish seems to be a safe assumption and, with such a successful run in the Champions League, that will constitute an impressive season.

Mohamed Salah has been the catalyst for Liverpool’s form this season, scoring 29 times and adding nine assists, and he has lifted the rest of the team with him. There is a slight doubt that the Egyptian will be fit for this game however as he picked up a slight groin injury in the Champions League. His absence would change the dynamic of the visitors slightly but they still have a hugely talented squad. There is little chance of fatigue setting in from the hectic fixture schedule either as this is a hotly contested derby that will have the players fired up.

Team News

Joel Matip’s thigh injury is persisting and will keep him out of this clash, while Joe Gomez is also out with an ankle problem. Ragnar Klavan is also a doubt due to a knock.

Emre Can has not recovered from his back injury and Adam Lallana is also side-lined with a thigh issue.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Everton have won four, drawn one and lost seven of their last 12 league games.
  • The Toffees have also conceded 23 goals in those 12 games.
  • Liverpool meanwhile have lost just two of their last 23 league games.
  • The Reds have also scored 29 goals in their last 12 top-flight matches.
  • The last league meeting between these two sides ended in a 1-1 draw.

Conclusion

While Sam Allardyce has improved Everton’s form enough to help them reach mid-table, they have remained an inconsistent side with a leaky defence. Liverpool have the class and form on their side and it is difficult to see the Toffees escaping a thorough beating in this game, regardless of the intensity of the occasion.

Verdict: Liverpool Win and Over 2.5 Goals

Best Odds: 11/8

Bookmakers: William Hill

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Steeden


Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

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