Having moved above their rivals in the table, there’s no doubting that Everton have the upper hand over Liverpool in terms of form ahead of Saturday’s mouth watering FA Cup semi-final showdown but the Reds have beaten their neighbours twice this season, keeping clean sheets in both encounters, so they might possess a slight psychological edge at Wembley.
Subsequently, it’s a tough-to-call clash to say the least, although bookies lean towards Kenny Dalglish’s men, Blue Square pricing them at 7/5 to stay in the hunt for a second trophy of the campaign and Boylesports rating the Toffees as 12/5 outsiders to get through in normal time.
Bet365 post 23/10 against a keenly fought contest finishing all square after 90 minutes and that possesses plenty of appeal in the circumstances while a match that could be high on energy but low on quality, looks decent value at 13/20 (William Hill) to produce fewer than three goals. A 1-1 scoreline, at 11/2 courtesy of Ladbrokes, could attract cash then and with a stalemate looking a distinct possibility bolder punters can back both teams at 11/1 via Skybet or William Hill to prevail on penalties.
If either side is to nick it, the likelihood is that the odd goal will settle it and the Reds and Toffees are 7/1 (Coral) and 9/1 (Stan James) respectively to register a slender 1-0 success while William Hill price Liverpool’s Luis Suarez at 6/1 to break the deadlock and at the other end, BetVictor make the Toffees’ in-form striker Nikica Jelavic 7/1 to notch first.
Tottenham and Chelsea are already locked in a battle to secure a top four finish and now the pair must also fight it out at Wembley for a place in this year’s FA Cup Final. As Spurs have won just three of their last eleven in all competitions, the formbook appears to favour Chelsea, who can be backed at 9/5 via BetVictor but the Blues might be distracted by another semi-final just a few days later, against Barcelona in the Champions League and that tips the balance towards Harry Redknapp’s men, priced by Stan James at 17/10.
Nevertheless, it looks set to be close on Sunday evening and subsequently, in a contest that Boylesports quote at even money to produce three or more goals, a case can be made for Blue Square’s 10/1, posted against a 2-1 Tottenham triumph. Alternatively, Spurs can be backed at 15/4 with bet365 to shade it by a one-goal margin and Skybet rate Redknapp’s charges at an enticing 5/1 to emerge victorious despite neither team having an advantage at the break.
Meanwhile, Jermain Defoe’s delicate finish provided Tottenham with some consolation in their 2-1 home reverse against Norwich last time out and that could be enough to win the Spurs striker a starting berth at Wembley, where BetVictor chalk him up at 15/2 to break the deadlock.
Liverpool to beat Everton on penalties – 11/1 (Skybet)
Everton to beat Liverpool on penalties – 11/1 (William Hill)
Jermain Defoe to score first in Tottenham v Chelsea – 15/2 (BetVictor)