Will Injuries Take the Edge Off this Ferocious Derby on Saturday?
Last updated: March 30, 2017 by Leon Marshal
|Coverage:||Sky Sports 1 (HD, Ultra HD)|
|Last meeting:||Everton 0 – 1 Liverpool|
|Competition:||English Premier League|
The Merseyside Derby is a notoriously feisty affair. Often touted as ‘the dirtiest fixture in English football’, the meetings have featured 21 red cards in 49 Premier League derbies. This, then, is anything but a friendly derby. However, both sides come into this one off the back of international breaks overshadowed by injury. Everton’s Seamus Coleman suffered a double leg break whilst playing for Ireland against Wales. The gruesome challenge by Swansea’s Neil Taylor personified the physicality of the game, and it will be interesting to see its ramifications serve to calm things on Saturday. The Toffees will also have to do without defensive midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin after the French-international suffered a calf injury.
Jürgen Klopp will be without Adam Lallana at Anfield after the in-from playmaker picked up a thigh injury whilst on international duty with England. Roberto Firmino is also a doubt due to illness, and Liverpool’s attack tends to look flat without him. The Reds might have to look to their midfield for goals, but box-to-boxer Georginio Wijnaldum could be the answer. The Dutch midfielder has scored all 16 of his Liverpool career goals on home soil, and may need to be called upon again at the weekend. Everton teenager Tom Davies will be looking to counter Wijnaldum in the middle of the park as the local lad experiences his first Merseyside Derby as a first-team player. Davies has started nine of ten games this year, so it won’t be too surprising if Ronald Koeman opts to put his faith in young talent once again at Anfield. This game will be a real test for the 19-year-old from West Derby, but his performance against Manchester City in January showed big-game pedigree.
Both sides are in what you could call ‘decent’ form. The hosts drew 1-1 away at Manchester City last time out and have won their last three home games including victories over Arsenal and Spurs. Everton look unstoppable at Goodison Park but have been shaky on the road so far this season. Koeman’s side haven’t won away since Coleman scored a late winner at Crystal Palace in January.
Adam Lallana will miss the game with a thigh injury. The England midfielder could be out for up to four weeks.
Daniel Sturridge is still struggling with a hip injury and will not play. The striker may have played his last game for Liverpool.
Seamus Coleman will not feature for Everton for up to six months following a double leg break whilst playing for Ireland against Wales.
James McCarthy is also out after picking up a thigh injury whilst playing for Ireland against Wales.
|Liverpool(4-3-3):||Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Can, Wijnaldum, Leiva, Coutinho, Mane, Origi|
|Subs:||Klavan, Karius, Moreno, Woodburn, Alexander-Arnold|
|Injured:||Lallana, Sturridge, Henderson, Grujic, Ings|
|Everton(4-3-3):||Robles, Baines, Williams, Jagielka, Holgate, Davies, Gueye, Barkley, Calvert-Lewin, Barry, Lukaku|
|Subs:||Lennon, Valencia, Lookman, Stekelenburg, Mirallas|
|Injured:||Coleman, McCarthy, Funes Mori, Schneiderlin, Bolasie, Besic|
So Far This Season
|Liverpool This Season||Everton This Season|
|16 (6)||Wins (away)||14 (4)|
|6-1 vs. Watford||Biggest Win||4-0 vs. Man City/Hull|
|8 (5)||Draws (away)||8 (4)|
|3-1 vs. Leicester||Biggest Defeat||5-0 vs. Chelsea|
|Mane (12)||Top Goal Scorer||Lukaku (21)|
|Y46, R0||Discipline||Y51, R1|
|4||Failures to Score||5|
|20||Both Teams to Score Games||15|
|17||Over 2.5 Goals||14|
|12||Under 2.5 Goals||15|
- Wijnaldum has a reputation for doing the business in big home games, and is an option to score anytime at 14/5.
- Anthony Taylor could be in for a busy afternoon. The referee has handed out seven yellow cards during his four appearances taking charge of Liverpool games this season.
- Everton boss Ronald Koeman has been talking down his sides chances this week announcing that the game will be a ‘big challenge’ for his injury-hit squad.
- Everton have been awarded only a single penalty at Anfield in 80 years of fixtures between the city’s two big sides. The law of averages must recalibrate that sooner or later.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|19/12/2016||English Premier League||Everton 0 – 1 Liverpool||Mane 90′|
|20/04/2016||English Premier League||Liverpool 4 – 0 Everton||Origi 43′|
|04/10/2015||English Premier League||Everton 1 – 1 Liverpool||Ings 41′|
|04/10/2015||English Premier League||Everton 0 – 0 Liverpool||—|
|28/01/2014||English Premier League||Liverpool 1 – 1 Everton||Gerrard 65′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Merseyside Derbies are notoriously difficult to predict. Both teams are looking good this season but with significant injury lists mounting on both sides of Stanley Park, we are likely to see two make-shift starting XIs on Saturday. In the past, red cards have been a tempting bet for this fixture but we image the mood to be slightly more subdued due the events surrounding Coleman. Odds of 29/10 are available at most bookmakers for a penalty to be awarded, which isn’t a bad bet.
We rarely dip into the correct score markets as the English Premier League is so unpredictable, but there is value in the correct score market here. Liverpool pinched a 1-0 win at Goodison Park back in December, but with Romelu Lukaku in this kind of form it’s easy to see Everton scoring here. The Belgian has bagged 21 goals this season and is showing no signs of slowing down. A 1-1 draw is going for 13/2 with Ladbrokes, and that’s just too good to turn down..