Champions Liverpool Travel to High Flying Everton
Last updated: October 14, 2020 by Leon Marshal
|Coverage:||BT Sport 1|
|Last Meeting:||Everton 0 – 0 Liverpool|
The Premier League is back after the UEFA Nations League break and what a game to start with. Fierce rivals Everton and Liverpool go head-to-head with Everton hoping to stay top of the table. Liverpool will be desperate to bounce back after their 7-2 humiliation against Aston Villa.
Everton are the surprise package so far this season. Their experienced manager Carlo Ancelotti has won the Champions League three times, but if he were to lead the Toffees to their first top-flight title since 1987, it would be his finest achievement in his long career.
Once a side that looked comfortable labouring in mid-table, they are now top of the league with European football their top priority. The appointment of Carlo Ancelotti has rejuvenated the club with belief strong with their supporters. This belief seems justified due to the excellent form of new England starlet Dominic Calvert-Lewin and the club’s smart dealings in the transfer market, signing James Rodríguez from Real Madrid was a stroke of genius. The Columbian has featured in four Premier League games, scoring three goals and making two assists with an average match rating of 8.41.
This weekend’s fixture against their bitterest of rivals will be fascinating. Usually, a sense of dread would be hanging over Everton fans heads, but this time it’s different. Liverpool suffered a heavy defeat in their last game, and for once, it will be Everton that are optimistic. The only downside for the club is that the international break interrupted their great start to the season. The toffees are on fire, winning four out of four in the league and progressing well in the Carabao cup booking a semifinal clash against Manchester United.
Richarlison, who also has had an explosive start to the season, is expected to be ready to feature after shaking off a recurring ankle injury picked in the Carabao win against West Ham. The 23-year-old featured in Brazil’s game against Bolivia.
Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are joined in attack by Colombian maestro Rodriguez. Rodriguez scored a brace in their previous game against Brighton after Calvert-Lewin scored the opener. Yerry Mina also scored in a 4 – 2 win in yet another dominant show.
Liverpool have been the undisputed kings of Merseyside for over a decade. The last time the blue side of the city tasted victory in all competitions against the Reds was in October 2010 when David Moyes oversaw a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Tim Cahill and the now Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta.
The chances are that Liverpool won’t be as confident as usual going into this clash. The champions have watched their neighbours win all their games and suffered a total collapse in their horror show against Aston Villa in their last Premier League game in which they lost by an incredible score line of 7-2.
Ollie Watkins scored a first-half hat trick and provided one assist. Jack Grealish was the master of the show, having a hand in five goals, scoring two goals and providing three assists. Ross Barkley who is on loan from Chelsea and John McGinn were the other scorers in Villa’s best game in memory. Mohammed Salah was sharp in front of goal, scoring a brace. Still, it wasn’t Liverpool’s day as everything went right for the opponents.
Virgil van Dijk is considered to be one of the best defenders in the world, but he has failed to maintain his high standards this season. In 13 games in all competitions including international games, the 29-year-old has a match rating of just 6.68, a big drop from 7.44 last season. The Dutchman seems to lack the legs to chase the ball back when playing a high line, a fact painfully exploited by Aston Villa. The Reds conceded the least goals (33 goals over 38 games) last season but have already conceded 11 goals with just four games played so far.
It’s safe to say a defeat has been coming. Liverpool were lucky to have survived 4 – 3 win against Leeds on the opening day, needing two penalties to overcome the Premier League newcomers. There were also defensive lapses in their win against Arsenal, but poor finishing and great goalkeeping saved the day.
A very tight schedule with the Reds expected to play every three or four days when the league returns with the Champions League starting and every game being crucial. While Liverpool’s front three isn’t likely to change much, shuffling of the midfield seems inevitable. Gini Wijnaldum is the most used midfielder by the club, making 35 appearances last season while Jordan Henderson made 26 and Fabinho 22. Thiago Alcantara’s average of 91.3 passes per 90 and 9.3 accurate long balls makes him better than any of the previously preferred three with Naby Keita expected to drop lower in the pecking order.
Everton is top of the league winning their first four games of the season and are joint highest scorers of the league with 12 goals.
Calvert-Lewin is the joint top scorer with six goals alongside Son Heung-Min.
Liverpool suffered their first defeat of the season when they were thrashed 7 – 2 by Aston Villa.
The Champions have a tight run with two games every week with Champions League football set to return. Everton don’t have European competition to contend with.
|Everton (4-3-1-2):||Pickford, Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne, Doucoure, Davies, Sigurdsson, Rodriguez, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin|
|Subs:||Lossi, Nkounkou, Delph, Iwobi, Bernard, Gordon|
|Injured:||Holgate, Tosun, Gbamin, Branthwaite|
|Liverpool (4-3-3):||Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Firmino, Mane|
|Subs:||Adrian, Kelleher, Gomez, Henderson, Williams, Jones, Elliott, Keita, Minamino, Milner, Henderson, Matip, Origi|
So Far This Season
|Everton This Season||Liverpool This Season|
|4 (1)||Wins (away)||3 (1)|
|5 – 2 v West Brom||Biggest Win||3 – 1 v Arsenal|
|0 (0)||Draws (away)||0 (0)|
|—||Biggest Defeat||2 – 7 v Aston Villa|
|Calvert-Lewin (6)||Top Goal Scorer||Salah (5)|
|Y2, R0||Discipline||Y4, R0|
|0||Failures to Score||0|
|67%||Both Teams to Score Games||100%|
|67%||Over 2.5 Goals||100%|
|33%||Under 2.5 Goals||0%|
- There have so far been 56 Merseyside derbies; Liverpool has 24 wins against the Blues 9, with 23 draws.
- Everton has an average of 3.0 goals per match against Liverpool average 2.75 goals scored per game.
- Two fierce attacking teams go head to head, Liverpool’s Mane, Salah, and Firmino versus Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Rodriguez.
- Everton have won their last 4 Premier League matches while Liverpool have scored at least two goals in their last six Premier League games.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|21/06/2020||EPL||Everton 0 – 0 Liverpool||—|
|05/01/2020||EPL||Liverpool 1 – 0 Everton||Jones 71’|
|04/12/2019||EPL||Liverpool 5 – 2 Everton||Origi 6’|
|03/03/2019||EPL||Everton 0 – 0 Liverpool||—|
|02/12/2018||EPL||Liverpool 1 – 0 Everton||Origi 90’|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Although the season is young, Everton are in phenomenal form; seven wins from seven in all competitions is the best the club has achieved in 125 years. Their four wins out of four in the Premier League is the best return for the club in 51 years, an even better record than when they last won the league in 1987. A win against their bitter rivals would feel like a cup victory for Toffee fans who have been starved of success for so long.
Liverpool will be hoping that their astonishing 7-2 defeat at the hands of relegation favourites Aston Villa was just a fluke. The international break probably came at a good time for Liverpool as Klopp will have had time to refocus his players and prepare them for the hectic schedule ahead. A sign of good teams is the ability to bounce back after upsets, Goodison Park is the ideal place to do that.
This game could be a high-scoring affair with both teams full of goals. Therefore the multi-scorers market looks attractive, especially as bet365 now refund bets if the player you back is substituted before half-time. Mohamed Salah is priced @ 11/4 for two or more, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin is 9/1.