The friendly derby?

The battle lines are drawn across Stanley Park once again this weekend as Everton face Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.

The friendly derby?

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September 30th, 2011

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Red and blue go toe-to-toe once again at Goodison on Saturday, with Everton looking to improve on a miserable record in this fixture.

Everton go into this clash having won just one of the last nine Merseyside derbies, that victory coming last October when goals from Tim Cahill and the now departed Mikael Arteta earned bragging rights for the blue half of the city. On the whole however, Everton’s recent record reads won one, drawn three and lost five.

The recent form is fairly sketchy for both of these sides. Liverpool have been largely unimpressive so far this season, making heavy work of relative minnows and being on the end of a 4-0 thumping at Spurs, whilst Everton’s league record stands at two wins, two defeats and a draw.

With form like that, we’re going to shy away from picking a winner in the so-called friendly derby and instead, stick our money on tomorrow’s game being a no-so-friendly affair.

Despite its nickname, there have been a staggering 19 red cards in this fixture during the Premier League era, more than in any other match up in Premier League history, with ten of those coming in the last 13 meetings.

Throw into the mix that the man in the middle is Martin Atkinson, a man who has handed out 14 red cards in the Premier League since the start of 2010/11; more than any other referee, and you can see why the 12/5 being offered by William Hill on a red card in the match is worth a punt.

If that doesn’t give you enough of a derby fix, then don’t worry because over in North London, there’s a right old ding-dong between Tottenham and Arsenal on Sunday.

Spurs, for the first time in a while, go into this clash with the better form of the two sides and the best you’ll get about a Tottenham win is 6/5.

Like with the Merseyside derby, we’re going to shy away from the result market and instead, back Emmanuel Adebayor to haunt his former club once again.

The former Gooner is in fantastic form for his new club, netting three times in three appearances and, following his strike for Manchester City against Arsenal back in 2009, we think that the 5/1 on him netting the first goal of the match to wind up the Arsenal fan’s further is worthy of a cheeky punt.

Our picks:

Everton vs Liverpool – Red card in the match @ 12/5 with William Hill

Tottenham vs Arsenal – Emmanuel Adebayor  to score first @ 5/1 with Bet365

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