Mark O’Haire’s Premier League Tips – Liverpool v EvertonStats
Liverpool v Everton
It promises to be a defining week for Everton boss Roberto Martinez who opted to rest and rotate his weary squad on Saturday, in favour of focusing on Wednesday night’s Merseyside derby and Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United at Wembley.
Bottom Half Double
The success of the Toffees’ season won’t depend on their midweek trip across Stanley Park to Anfield but Martinez will be mindful of the impact a heavy confidence-sapping defeat to Liverpool could have on his team’s efforts at the weekend in the capital.
The beleaguered boss has come under intense pressure from the Everton faithful as the Blues look on course for successive bottom-half finishes for the first time in 14 years. The Spaniard had promised Champions League football to chairman Bill Kenwright in his job interview.
The Toffees have triumphed just three times in the Premier League this calendar year whilst their only success in eight came against relegated Aston Villa. The visitors have failed to record a victory since beating Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-final five and a half weeks ago.
Although the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and James McCarthy are all set to return to the side this midweek but Martinez is still likely to be without Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Aaron Lennon, Tom Cleverley and Seamus Coleman this midweek.
Everton have suffered just two defeats in 16 Premier League away games, which deserves respect, but with one eye firmly on Saturday, the Toffees appear vulnerable here.
Six of the last seven Merseyside derbies have finished all-square but Liverpool are unbeaten in 11 derby duels and are understandably strong favourites to claim maximum points.
Jurgen Klopp took the opportunity to make 10 changes during Sunday’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth, a result that made it three victories on the spin for the Reds. With fifth-place still up for grabs, Liverpool will be keen to close the gap on Manchester United and West Ham and secure European qualification for 2016/17.
Rousing Recent Record
The Reds have looked formidable going forward in recent weeks – plundering 27 goals in 10 games as only the top-two have stopped Liverpool scoring at least twice. And with five wins from six at Anfield, as well as W5-D1-L1 in seven Premier League outings, the hosts’ claims shouldn’t be ignored.
But rather than back Liverpool to win at 4/6, take a look at the 9/4 on offer for a home win and both sides scoring.
Bets, Bets, Bets
The home side have seen the Both Teams To Score selection bank in each of their last seven fixtures across all competitions. In fact, eight of Liverpool’s last 10 games have featured at least three goals with five of those 10 producing Over 3.5 Goals winners.
Meanwhile, Everton may have scored just twice in their past five but their attacking cavalry is expected back on Wednesday night and no bottom-half side has scored as many goals (23) as the Toffees on their travels – Martinez’s men have been silenced just twice in nine games as guests.
Elsewhere, it might also be worth having a small wager on the 13/5 offered for the Reds to win by exactly one goal. Nine of Liverpool’s 14 league wins have been settled by a one-goal margin and it’s proven a similar tale in seven of Everton’s 10 Premier League losses this season.
Liverpool to win and Both Teams To Score (11/5)
Liverpool to win by exactly one goal (13/5)
*Prices correct at time of publication