Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Everton V Liverpool
Saturday 7th February. 5:30PM. Sky Sports 1
It’s the longest running derby in English football and Saturday’s Merseyside showdown has all the ingredients to be a classic.
The two sides have shared plenty of goals in recent meetings and their respective poor seasons means that this clash carries huge significance as three points would at least provide the victors local bragging rights for a few months. More importantly, though, it could set the tone for the closing weeks of 2014/15.
These sides rarely disappoint when it comes to the derby. Expect another explosive affair at Goodison Park.
Everton Looking For Rare Moment Of Joy
It has been a truly disappointing Premier League campaign for Roberto Martinez’s Toffees, but the Goodison Park faithful won’t worry about that as they search for temporary respite by beating theri bitter rivals.
There has been a number of changes at Goodison Park over the past week or so and new boy Aaron Lennon will be eager to impress during his loan spell from Tottenham. Getting amongst the goals in this Merseyside derby would make him an instant hit with the blue half of the city.
Everton are still missing a couple of midfield players in Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar but will be hopeful that their other stars can cope against the Reds. In the attacking third, it will be up to Romelu Lukaku to make his physical presence known as the Toffees look to take advantage of Liverpool’s often vulnerable defence.
Confidence has been low at Goodison Park but the side will certainly be up for this one. There might not be much to play for in terms of the league season, but derby day delight will serve as a huge incentive here and their star players will be eager to show a good account of themselves.
It’s not as easy as flicking a switch on, though, and the affects of their poor campaign could shine through against the Reds.
Sturridge Return Huge For Reds
For months Brendan Rodgers has stated that his side will improve once their star striker returned and that proved to be the case against West Ham last week as Daniel Sturridge made a scoring return in the 2-0 win at Anfield.
Rodgers has suggested Liverpool now have their identity back and they’ll be eager to use that momentum heading into the derby. Unlike Everton, though, bragging rights is secondary to the away side’s need for points and victory at Goodison Park could reignite their hopes of Champions League qualification.
Meanwhile, captain Steven Gerrard will be desperate to lead his boyhood club to success in his final Merseyside derby and the Liverpool stalwart is certain to give it everything he’s got at Goodison Park. If he and Jordan Henderson can dominate the midfield battle, Rodgers’ side will have a great chance of leaving with three points in the bag.
This could be one of the most important matches in Liverpool’s season; expect the Reds to bring their ‘A’ game.
Everton V Liverpool Betting
Despite conceding home advantage, it is Liverpool who enter the Saturday night showdown as the favourites with Bet365 pricing them at 5/4. Meanwhile, a price of 9/4 suggest Everton are capable of causing an upset. The draw is available at 12/5.
The key for this one is the return of Daniel Sturridge. The England star isn’t only a goalscorer, he is the glue holding Liverpool’s attacking unit together and he has the potential to be the match-winner here.
It has been a stressful few months on the sidelines but last week’s goal against West Ham proved that Sturridge is ready to enjoy a successful back end to 2014/15 and we’d expect him to have a big say on proceedings at Goodison Park.
Daniel Sturrdige to score anytime is 6/4 with BetVictor
Liverpool have to be considered favourites, especially considering Everton’s troubles throughout this campaign. However, the Toffees will fancy their chances of scoring at home and can push their fierce rivals all the way.
Nonetheless, the Reds need a result here and Rodgers will demand a positive showing from his side. Liverpool should win but we’re also backing both teams to score.
BTTS & Liverpool Win @ 17/5 with Coral