STAR PREVIEW: Everton v Liverpool

One of the many unanswered questions regarding the Premier League’s restart – on the pitch at least – is when exactly Liverpool will win a first Premier League title. It is surely a matter of time for Jurgen Klopp and his men to get over the line, despite Manchester City delaying the inevitable with their win against Arsenal in midweek, but they may find that the Merseyside Derby could delay that wait even further.

On paper this should be no contest – Liverpool have won 27 of their 29 games and are 45 points clear of their opponents here – and a behind closed doors Derby at Goodison (if evidence from other leagues is to be believed) should help even more, but there is one factor which takes a lot of appeal from their price of 8/15 with Star to win in 90 minutes.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were conquering all before them until their ‘winter break’ – which was partly extended by a youth side playing at Shrewsbury in the FA Cup – but afterwards they were lacklustre, losing to Atletico Madrid, Watford and Chelsea in extremely tame fashion, whilst they had to work very hard for wins against West Ham and Bournemouth in that same time period.

Those losses can be explained – Atletico Madrid and Watford in particular had great success in squeezing Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold very hard, limiting Liverpool’s central attacking outlets – but it is something which must be considered now that they are reappearing after a three-month absence.

Everton v Liverpool
Premier League
19:00 Sky One / Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD / Pick

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches, since 2010)
JAN 2020 FA CUP Liverpool 1-0 Everton
DEC 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 5-2 Everton
MAR 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 0-0 Liverpool
DEC 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 1-0 Everton
APR 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 0-0 Liverpool
JAN 2018 FA CUP Liverpool 2-1 Everton
DEC 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 1-1 Everton
APR 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 3-1 Everton
DEC 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 0-1 Liverpool
APR 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 4-0 Everton
OCT 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 1-1 Liverpool
FEB 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 0-0 Liverpool

Everton also have the shape of a side that were improving with time under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti – they were last seen getting a 4-0 thumping at Chelsea but they had been desperately unlucky not to beat Manchester United here the time before that, and before the Chelsea defeat they’d recorded over 2 xGF (two expected goals a game) in their previous seven matches according to Infogol.

It’s unlikely they’ll be able to shut down the game in the way Atletico, Watford and Chelsea did thanks to injury concerns (Yerry Mina is out in defence, and Morgan Schneiderlin, Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin will be missing from the midfield) but the improvement Ancelotti has brought to the side could still help them, whilst it would be unwise to forget about attacking starlets Richarlison or Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Star go 10/11 on Everton with a one goal start, meaning that we’d win if they can take a point or more, whilst a one goal defeat will see stakes returned. That would have seen a return for backers in all but one Merseyside Derby since April of 2017, when an Everton side bereft of confidence in front of a full crowd at Anfield was there for the taking as Marco Silva would find out to his cost.

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