Weblog: The football punter

Everton could give Liverpool trouble

Premier League
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Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 17 meetings with Everton and have not lost a Premier League game at Anfield since April 2017 but the Reds may not be rock-solid favourites for the Merseyside derby.

Jurgen Klopp's men have made an unbeaten start to the league season despite a tricky set of early fixtures.

They have drawn at home to title favourites Manchester City, taken five points from London trips to Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, and been ruthless against the rest of their top-flight opponents.

However, a niggly defeat away to Paris St-Germain on Wednesday leaves them needing to beat Napoli to qualify for the Champions League last 16 and Klopp, missing suspended captain Jordan Henderson, is wary of a deflating derby defeat.

The German coach has hailed Marco Silva's crop as the best Everton squad he has faced during his time at Anfield.

Klopp's assessment of the Toffees, combined with the fact that both Premier League meetings last season ended in draws (1-1 at Anfield and 0-0 at Goodison Park), suggests there may be better 2-5 shots than Liverpool on the weekend coupon.

Everton should certainly come into this game in good heart under Silva. Their last seven league fixtures have produced five wins, a narrow 2-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, and a creditable goalless draw away to Chelsea.

They followed up that point at Stamford Bridge with a 1-0 home win over Cardiff – a scoreline that didn't do justice to the Toffees, who had 71 per cent of possession and eight shots on target to Cardiff's one.

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the winner against Cardiff, taking his tally to six goals in his last nine league appearances, and Richarlison, Bernard, Theo Walcott, Cenk Tosun, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ademola Lookman offer Silva a versatile array of attacking options.

However, there is a significant obstacle in the path of 8-1 underdogs Everton in the form of Liverpool's defence.

Last season it was all about the front three for the Reds but this term the back five, including goalkeeper Alisson, have taken centre stage.

They have conceded five goals in 13 Premier League matches, including one in six at Anfield, and that defensive excellence adds to the appeal of odds-against quotes about under 2.5 goals.

Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino remain a huge threat but Michael Keane and Yerry Mina have the makings of a sound partnership at the heart of Everton's defence and the Toffees can keep things tight.

They stifled Chelsea impressively in their last away game and look a far more accomplished side than the one who held firm in two derby draws last season.

Under 2.5 goals

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Match in Focus


Southampton v Bournemouth

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • Both teams have scored In seven of Bournemouth’s last eight Premier League games
Expert verdict
Both Southampton and Bournemouth look to have hit a bit of form now the new season has gathered pace and it would be no surprise if they dished up a decent south-coast derby. Both teams have scored in four of the last six meetings and this clash should follow suit.