Liverpool vs Everton PreviewPublished on March 27th, 2017 7:58 pm EST
Written By: Duncan Elder
Everton visit Anfield this weekend for the second Merseyside derby of the season. It is one that carries significance for both sides.
While Liverpool will be looking to further solidify their place in the top four, crucial with both Arsenal and Man United close behind them, Everton will hope to give their own outside chance of a top four finish a boost with a win.
Liverpool seem to be over their mini blip in form and have lost only one game in the last five. That was against a resurgent Leicester who undoubtedly had something to prove after the sacking of manager Ranieri.
Since then they have had wins against Arsenal and Burnley, as well as a hard-fought draw against Manchester City that many pundits were calling the game of the season. While at one point it looked as if they might have been about to slip out of the Champions League places, their recent form means that this is now less likely.
Everton, though, are no slouches either. They have been on fire recently and have lost only one of their last nine games, a hard fought 3-2 battle against Tottenham. This has seen them slowly close the gap to the Champions Leagues spots and a win against Liverpool would put them only three points behind.
This would be a major upturn for a team that midway through the season looked miles off the pace.
Now, while both teams are close in terms current form, there is no doubt that in previous matches Everton are the big losers. They haven't won a league game against their Merseyside rivals since 2010 and haven't won at Liverpool's ground since 1999.
This head-to-head form is very much reflected in the betting markets. Despite the difference between the two sides only being six points in the league, Liverpool are priced at 1.60 for the win. If anyone is brave enough to suggest that Everton can get their first Anfield win since 1999, they will be rewarded with odds of 5.75. Meanwhile, a draw is currently sitting at 3.80.
So can this year finally be Everton's year? They will point to the fact that they are having their best season in ages as evidence that they certainly have the ability to beat Liverpool.
Star man Lukaku, who doesn't seem affected by recent contract talks, is the league's top scorer and he will certainly fancy his chances against a Liverpool side who have, at times, looked less than assured at the back.
They will also point to their 4-0 win against Man City as evidence that they can mix it with the big boys of the league.
However, Liverpool also have form against the other big teams in the league. As much as it may pain then to admit that their rivals are currently one of the other big teams, it may well play into their hands for this game. In fact, this season Liverpool have recorded wins against Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City, and Chelsea.
With Liverpool playing an attacking style of football and Everton having one of the best strikers in the league, one place to look for value could well be the goals markets. Both teams to score is currently priced at 1.73, while if you think it will be a bit of goal fest you can get odds of 3.00 on total match goals over 3.5.