How long has it been since Everton scored a victory over Liverpool? Well, let’s put it this way – no one had ever heard of Donald Trump at the time.
Okay, we’re just kidding about that. But seriously, it’s been a long time, and things are not exactly trending in Everton’s direction. So as we begin the Premier League schedule again, the questions that will be answered mainly involve whether the Red-shirted crew can look as dominant as it did during the schedule until the time of the shutdown.
BetAnySports customers who follow worldwide soccer know that no one is going to catch Liverpool in the Premier League. When they put it away officially is simply a matter of time, and not a lot of it either. With Manchester City rolling against Arsenal already, the celebration is delayed a bit. But with 82 points, compiled on the strength of 27 wins and one loss (with one draw), they have a 22-point lead.
And the championship alone isn’t even the goal right now. Man City currently holds the all-time Premier League record for most points in a season with 100, which they reached two seasons ago. But Liverpool can break it with 19 points in these last nine matches.
The journey starts (again) on Sunday at 2 PM ET with the “Merseyside Derby,” as Liverpool visits Everton, its geographic neighbor, at Goodison Park. And they don’t have to travel very far. American fans are familiar with the traditional rivalry between Duke and North Carolina, which are about nine miles apart. Well, the home grounds of these two squads are less than a mile from each other, so it’s a real neighborhood skirmish.
History is not on Everton’s side; they have not beaten Liverpool in the last eighteen meetings, managing ten draws but also losing eight times. And this is arguably the best edition of the Reds they will be facing. if they can’t win here, they will have gone through a full decade without any bragging rights to show for it.
In the Premier League soccer betting odds that have been posted on this game at BetAnySports, the league leaders are, of course, favored:
Liverpool -1 (+100)
Everton +1 (-115)
Under 3 Goals -134
Over 3 Goals +119
No one can be sure what kind of effect the COVID-19 hiatus is going to have on these respective squads. Liverpool did not look as invincible going into the break; in fact, after going through a streak of fifteen consecutive games in which it never trailed, the Reds have been behind at one time in their last three Premier League matches.
But they have the talent edge here. That includes a defense that has been the most impregnable in the league. That much can be expected when you have the world’s best goalkeeper (Alisson) and perhaps the best defender on the planet (Virgil Van Dijk), both of whom were named to the most recent FIFA World XI. Liverpool has allowed just 21 goals in 29 games, and they game-plan better than anyone else because they are far ahead of the curve as far as analytics are concerned (more on that in a future installment).
They also have the firepower – Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah (who sat out last week’s friendly, a 6-0 win over Blackburn Rovers, but should be good to go) have combined for 30 goals, and they both have a chance to lead the circuit in that department. Meanwhile, Everton is a little banged up, missing up to four productive players, including Jean-Philippe Gbamin. And we’d suggest Liverpool’s defensive task is made easier by that; if they can shut down Dominic Calvert-Lewin (eight goals in his last eleven games), they could take care of business easily.
In this neighborhood brawl (and we don’t say that lightly; this rivalry sees more red cards issued than any other in the EPL), it would help if Everton had its fans available at Goodison (capacity just over 39,000). But that isn’t the case, as everyone is playing behind closed doors.
It is true that since Carlo Ancelotti took over as coach, Everton has shown some life. But to give you an idea about how far apart these clubs really are, in the last meeting, an FA Cup game, Liverpool made nine lineup changes, essentially using youngsters and reserves, as some NFL team might in an exhibition, and they still shut out Everton’s best.
Looking at some trends, it may be worth noting that Everton has achieved seven draws in the last nine Premier League encounters that have taken place at this venue. At the same time, though, they have scored no goals at all the last three times they have hosted Liverpool in EPL play. Keep in mind that Alisson is the master of the clean sheet.
Liverpool coach Jurgen Kloop says that his team has to “stay greedy before the game, in the game and after the game.” Well, if the EPL points record means something to them, they will. Even if they show just a little of that, it should be enough against this undermanned opponent. We’ll lay the price with the visitor here.
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