Live On Sky Sports 1: Sun: 13:30. Chris Hutcheon previews the first Merseyside derby of the season and reckons Everton and Liverpool will end all square at Goodison Park.
Rarely has a Merseyside derby been played in such unusual and uncertain circumstances. The ownership wrangle at Liverpool juxtaposed with the fact that Roy Hodgson’s men are languishing in the bottom three and have been slashed to 12/1 by Paddy Power to go down, suggests that matters at Anfield are just as turbulent on the field as they are off it; nevertheless, it could be that a showdown with their neighbours is just what the Reds need to increase motivation and kick-start their campaign.
Over the park, things look comparatively stable. Admittedly Everton are lying in 17th but they finally and deservedly recorded their first win of the season last time out and arguably look in better shape on paper than their rivals. Of course matches aren’t played on paper, especially derbies, but the Toffees are still classed as narrow 6/4 favourites by Totesport while a Liverpool success is rated at 2/1 by William Hill and 888Sport chalk 9/4 against the stalemate.
Despite the fact that the spoils haven’t been shared in this fixture for over a decade, that draw quote stands out given that both sides are locked on just six points after seven games and in the frantic atmosphere of a derby with neither team looking particularly potent at present, the ambitious might fancy ’s 8/1 for it to end goalless at Goodison Park.
A match tally of fewer than 2.5 goals (8/11, Betdaq) certainly seems likely and indeed that wager as well as Gamebookers’ 8/5 marked against the first half finishing 0-0, are made more attractive by the fact that the likes of Louis Saha and Dirk Kuyt have been ruled out.
Everton and Liverpool to draw – 9/4 (888Sport)