The old cliche dictates that the form book goes out of the window in derby games, and Everton will certainly be hoping that is the case as they prepare to travel to Anfield to take on title-chasing rivals Liverpool.
The Reds will be looking to put a disappointing Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night behind them and continue their stellar, unbeaten start to the 2018/19 Premier League campaign against the Toffees.
Everton’s overall form this season has been promising, with Marco Silva’s men currently sitting pretty in sixth place, above Manchester United. Their away form has been less impressive, though, with just one league win on their travels. They did, however, pick up a credible draw in their last away trip, against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Our friends at Football Whispers have picked out the best betting markets for Sunday’s Merseyside derby.
With just five goals conceded from 13 Premier League games so far this season, Liverpool boast the joint-best defensive record in the English top flight, level with champions Manchester City.
And the Reds’ backline, transformed by the £75million January signing of Virgil van Dijk, is proving even meaner at home.
In six league games at Anfield this term, they have conceded just one goal, with promoted Cardiff City the only side able to break Liverpool’s rearguard. Even the free-scoring champions drew a blank when they visited Anfield in October.
Everton are not without their share of attacking talent, with £40million summer signing Richarlison in particularly fine fettle, but Van Dijk and co. should be able to deal with any threat posed on Sunday afternoon.
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Reds at the double
Last time Everton travelled across Stanley Park for a Premier League fixture, they left Anfield with a point thanks to a second-half Wayne Rooney penalty cancelling out Mohamed Salah’s stunning opener.
Liverpool’s imperious form so far this season suggests the Toffees face an even more daunting task this time around, however, with the Reds undefeated and only two points behind league leaders Manchester City.
In addition to their stubborn defence, Jurgen Klopp’s side are scoring freely on home soil, netting 14 times in six Premier League games at Anfield this season, with only City able to keep them out.
Everton, on the other hand, have conceded two goals in four of their six away fixtures in 2018/19. Back the Reds to win by a couple of goals.
Liverpool may not have been able to secure all three points last time they hosted their cross-city rivals in a Premier League game, drawing 1-1, but Salah was yet again the star of the show.
The Egyptian forward bagged an eye-watering 44 goals in his maiden season with the Reds following his £36million move from Roma in the summer of 2017, and his strike against the Toffees was the pick of the bunch.
Salah skilfully cut in from the right before curling a delicious effort into the far top corner to send the Kop into raptures. The wondergoal won the ex-Chelsea wide man the Puskas Award, anointing it the best strike in world football last year.
It took him a few weeks to rediscover his peak from this term after his World Cup exertions, but, with four goals and two assists from his last five league games, Salah is firing again and will be confident of notching against Everton.
Other markets to keep an eye on
If you have slightly less faith in Liverpool’s defence than us and believe the Toffees stand a great chance of getting on the scoresheet, Richarlison is their most likely man to do it.
Salah is, of course, the favourite to open the scoring, but if you fancy Roberto Firmino to add to the goal he bagged against Watford last weekend – just his third Premier League strike of the season – the Brazilian is good value as first goalscorer.
*Odds subject to change
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by Tom Bodell