Sunday’s soccer feature match in the English Premier League comes from Goodison Park where Everton take on local rivals Liverpool in the latest Merseyside derby match.
The Toffees, under the care of Carlo Ancelotti still have designs on making next season’s Europa League; while the visitors can all but seal the league title with a win so there’s plenty on the table for both teams to play for.
Everton come into the game on something of a poor run having failed to win in their three games prior to lockdown which includes a thumping 4-0 loss at the hands of Chelsea. They also have a monkey on their back in this fixture having failed to win a Merseyside derby for almost a decade.
The visitors meanwhile have had to put the champagne on ice following nearest rival Manchester City’s midweek defeat of Arsenal but a win on Sunday will leave them just one win away from securing the league title.
So who will come out on top in Sunday’s soccer big match?
HOME SIDE HAVE INJURY CONCERNS
Ancelotti could be without several key men for this clash with local rivals Liverpool, with Yerry Mina being joined on the medical table by Morgan Schneiderlin, Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin all likely to mis out. That’s a sizeable chunk of the team’s main performers potentially out of action and Everton could struggle to replace such a loss of talent and experience.
Liverpool have less injury concerns with Mohamed Sala assessed fit to play, while talismanic goalkeeper Alisson is likely to retake his place between the sticks. Andy Robertson could also return and Liverpool will near to a full-strength side.
LEAGUE TITLE IN SIGHT FOR LIVERPOOL
The away side could have been lifting the Premier League title with a win at Goodison, but with Manchester City winning in midweek the Reds will have to wait a little while longer. Three points here will put them within one win of guaranteeing the title however and their first title in 30 years has only been delayed.
Everton meanwhile still have some slim hope of making the Europa League but can’t afford to ship away any more points given they languish on the wrong side of the top half of the table. The Toffees can still qualify mathematically, but it will take a herculean effort from them through the remaining matches as Ancelotti tries to salvage their season following the dreadful Marco Silva reign.
TEAMS TAKE TO THE FIELD IN SIMILAR FORM
Despite failing to win in their last three starts, Everton’s recent home record has been decent and the Toffees are unbeaten in their last seven at Goodison, and they’ve lost only eight goals in the last ten matches at home. Their last six matches at home have yielded eight goals where they’ve won three and drawn three including a 1-1 draw with Manchester United on their last game before the shutdown.
They haven’t managed a win however against their Merseyside rivals in 21 meetings and have lost both this season. Liverpool thrashed them 5-2 in their last league encounter, while the Liverpool kids dumped them out of the FA Cup.
Liverpool lost their last away match prior to the lockdown, suffering a surprise 3-0 defeat to Watford; but they had won their five previous starts away from home, scoring ten goals and conceding only one prior to that defeat.
GOALS AT BOTH ENDS
Merseyside derbies are usually cagey affairs and often low-scoring affairs and Sunday’s match pits two of the meanest defenses in the English Premier League against each other. The visitors boast the top spot in that particular table, conceding only nine goals away from home; while Everton have the sixth-best home defensive record.
In attack however both teams could do better; Liverpool are only fourth in goals scored away from home, while Everton’s home scoring record is one of the worst in the league where they have hit the back of the net only 19 times.
Everton have only failed to hit the target on three occasions at home, while Liverpool have scored at least one in every away fixture this season aside from their visit to Watford so siding with both teams to score looks a likely outcome.
With an expected lack of match sharpness in both sides there may again be few goals in the game and under 2.5 goals in this fixture has been a solid play in past Merseyside derbies as both teams struggle to find the net against each other.
Everton need to win to keep the embers of a Europa League place from being extinguished, while a Liverpool win will put them to within three points of their first title in 30 years. Everton’s record in this fixture has been dismal in recent years but they come into the game in decent form against the visitors who suffered a loss the last time they played.
The home side has been much more cohesive since Carlo Ancelotti took the reins and they have proven much more resilient at home. Liverpool remain potent at both ends of the pitch and will be keen to bounce back from their defeat last time and maintain their impressive form over their local rivals.
The visitors have a formidable record this season away from home but the enforced shut-down might have robbed Firmino and co some sharpness in front of goal. Expect this to be a cagey, low scoring encounter and the teams sharing the spoils on their first starts back following the lockdown wouldn’t surprise.
Bet 1: Everton/Liverpool DRAW + under 3 goals in the match @ + 500 (Bet365)
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