Round 26 – Merseyside derby
By David, bettingexpert.com | Edited
Liverpool had been involved in a Carling Cup final against Cardiff a few weeks ago and that is why they had to postpone their much awaited derby against Everton. Form has not been behind Dalglish’s boys since lifting that trophy to the air, whilst Everton has gone from strength to strength.
Liverpool – Everton
It is undeniable that Moyes once more went on to reawaken the team in the second part of the season. The way his teams kick off is very different from the way they tackle the second half of the season and with the January reinforcements their claim for finishing ahead of their rivals, now just two points away, is not that farfetched after all.
Back when the Toffees were looking like a troubled side in that first half of the season they still had played a very good game against Liverpool, ultimately compromised by an unfair sending off after some of those commonplace theatricals by Uruguay forward Suarez. As things stand now they go into this match favourites for taking away from Liverpool some points and make up for an undeserved defeat back in October.
In the last seven Premier League matches Everton have lost none whilst the Reds have won just once in the last eight, losing half of them in the process. Anfield has not really been an ally this season. They drew too many games in front of their own fans and despite that Dalglish refuses to point the finger at an approach which he has tinkered around with too many times.
How do the Reds line up consistently? Is a pure striker, Carroll the only one in the squad fielded regularly? What roles do Suarez and Kuyt have to interpret? Who are the wingers? How many players line up in front of Gerrard and what kind of formation do they play? There are still to many questions for which there are answers one day but none the other, exemplifying how Dalglish has been for far too long away from the game to be able to keep up with today’s modern approach. With the advent of more tactically aware managers like Lambert and Rodgers the Reds will never be able to make the most out of a squad which lines up with so many high profile players.
The cards look like they are spelling a bright future for the guests therefore. They know how to keep their lines tight and this has been shown to frustrate Liverpool, which won just four home games and drew eight from thirteen this season. Scoring goals has been Everton’s problem though and that is why they usually have to rely on a solid defence and then wait for the goal to come. From the last fifteen Premier League games they only managed to score two goals over ninety minutes in one match, at home against Chelsea. They have also conceded more than one goal just twice.
Going for an Under would seem natural given the teams’ track record thus far. However, let’s not forget this is a derby. Moyes may be uncomfortable to just tinker around with a strategy that has worked wonders for them so far. Besides they do not really have strong enough strikers to support a more open approach. For Liverpool, however, it is getting desperate and their sprits should light up ahead of match that means so much.
The Reds can rediscover their fighting spirit and some concreteness in front of their won jubilant fans demanding the scalp of next door neighbours Everton, just to bring them down a notch and keep them at a distance in the table.
Obscure Stat - Everton have drawn their last 3 away matches. Over the last 6 Premier League seasons, clubs playing away on such a streak have won just 4 of 26 matches played, drawing 9 for a Draw profitability of 26%.
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Steven Gerrard to return the starting line up and Charlie Adam might get the push? Obviously, Liverpool has found it tough without Lucas in the midfield so hopefully the derby will spur liverpool on, but the fact is Everton is very much in form of the late so they will want it more. Great insight once again and good prediction.