Everton v Liverpool preview – Toffees should edge Merseyside derby

A Toffees win could have repercussions way beyond the weekend

Everton v Liverpool preview – Toffees should edge Merseyside derby

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Glen Laidlaw

September 30th, 2015

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Liverpool came very close to clinching their first ever Premier League title just two seasons ago, however they suffered their worst ever Premier League campaign last season, utterly failing to successfully defend their top-four status and being knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage.

The new signings brought in to replace Luis Suarez have all failed without exception. The biggest question is ‘who was the biggest waste of money?’ There was plenty of choice – Dejan Lovren £20million; Adam Lallana £25million; Lazar Markovic £25million; Mario Balotelli £16million; Rickie Lambert £7million.

There were plenty of excuses for the disaster of last season. The Uruguayan is irreplaceable, Daniel Sturridge was absent through injury and Steven Gerrard was fast approaching the end of his Liverpool career. All of this was readily accepted and the following campaign would see Liverpool rise again.

They haven’t. This season is very much a repeat of last season. But worse. The Reds have lunged from one dreadful performance to the next and all of the new signings have been a disappointment. Indeed, Philippe Coutinho is perhaps the only star player left at Anfield following the departure of Raheem Sterling and this is a really depressing fact for the Liverpool faithful.

The fans have made their feelings towards Brendan Rodgers crystal clear. They blame him for the mess that the team are in and want to see the back of him. Can a new manager get them out of this predicament though? Jurgen Klopp is amongst a handful of names being bandied about, however would he be able to turn the team into Champions League contenders?

It is very unlikely that he would and ahead of this weekend’s city derby, it is Everton which is looking like the quality outfit on Merseyside.The Toffees have held onto John Stones despite overtures from Chelsea, have kept Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkley and Leighton-Baines and look to be reaping the benefits.

The Goodison Park side are rather short in attack but they certainly have all the makings of a decent squad. They are a point above Liverpool in the Premier League table and we wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest were they to finish ahead of their rivals at the end of the season.

They go head-to-head on Sunday afternoon with the bookies seemingly oblivious to the difference between these sides. Paddy Power go 17/10 for an Everton win with Liverpool up for grabs at 15/8 with BetVictor and a draw available at 12/5 with the same firm.

These odds would perhaps suggest that a draw is the most likely outcome, however going on recent form it is Everton who we’ll be backing. They have had a hard start to the season, facing no less than five of last season’s top eight, however they have suffered just one defeat and are putting in some excellent performances.

Even more crucially, with the side possessing some good first team players, the Toffees aren’t involved in any European football therefore allowing Roberto Martinez to pick his best players in all games, fitness permitting. Liverpool are – to be fair – still in transition and struggled to narrow victories in the first two Premier League games. They have since scraped together just five points from their last five outings with no convincing performances.

Indeed, the frailty in defence that allowed Villa to score twice at the weekend is rather worrying for the Anfield faithful and we can’t see them returning home with anything for their troubles on Sunday afternoon.

 

 

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