The Merseyside Derby is one of the most eagerly awaited matches in the English Premier League calendar. This fixture has a long history with many famous matches being played down the years. Merseyside Derbies have even been played out in cup finals too. There were two famous all-Merseyside FA Cup finals within the space of three years in 1986 and 1989. On Monday evening they will be battling for points at Goodison Park. Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp has made a great start to the season. Everton has been solid as well.
Title D-Day for Liverpool
It is only a couple of weeks ago that Liverpool was being spoken of as title challengers. They then had a crushing 4-3 loss at Bournemouth and dropped further points at home to West Ham. Couple this with Chelsea’s brilliant unbeaten run and the Reds are now nine points behind the men from Stamford Bridge. Should they lose this derby on Monday night then it will look increasingly likely that the title could be slipping away before the end of the calendar year.
Liverpool has put in numerous stunning attacking displays this season. Jurgen Klopp has certainly brought exciting times to Anfield. The question is, do Liverpool really have the personnel to challenge for the title? There is a world of difference between challenging in November and being in contention in April. Liverpool is similar to Manchester City in that they are prone to leaking goals. Their capitulation away to Bournemouth was proof of that.
Koeman has steadied the Ship
Everton, on the other hand, has been solid if unspectacular this season. After several recent managerial changes, they clearly needed stability. David Moyes left to go to Old Trafford and Roberto Martinez did well for a while before he was replaced. It is tough to see Everton reaching the top six this season. This match is a tough one to call because it all depends on whether Liverpool can “park the bus” well enough to prevent defensive mistakes.
This has been their Achilles heel this season. Even their goalkeepers have been causing Jurgen Klopp problems. It is clear that Liverpool needs to strengthen their defence. If they cannot do so in time during the January transfer window then the title is surely out of reach this season. William Hill quotes odds of 19-20 for a Liverpool win. Meanwhile, Everton can be backed at 3-1 with PaddyPower and Stan James with the draw at 11-4 with Bet365.
If you are looking for value in these prices then it doesn’t appear to be with Liverpool. Everton will be up for this game. Their loyal fans will not let them put in anything other than a solid display. Jurgen Klopp will be acutely aware that staying nine points behind Chelsea in the table could prove to be terminal for their title chances. The value does seem to be either in the draw at 11-4 or the 3-1 for a home win.
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