Everton vs. Liverpool and Pick to Win
Date:Saturday, April 1st 2017
Where: English Premier League Anfield, Liverpool, UK
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem
Match Odds: Everton 9/2, Liverpool 7/10, Draw 31/10
Moneyline: Everton +450, Liverpool -130, Draw +310
Over/Under Best Market: OVER 3.5 17/10 (+170)
The Merseyside Derby is also known as The Friendly Derby as it is a rivalry game that is anchored in civic tradition and neighborly pleasantries. With a slew of violence rooted in hooliganism from many soccer clubs across Europe, these two Liverpool-based clubs have employed a different philosophy and approach to their cross-city feud. While the game is intense, both sides and their supporters encourage amity and solidarity regardless of the result. With this being said, the supporters are in for a treat this weekend as this edition of the Merseyside Derby bares significance for both parties. The Reds and the Toffees remain separated by six points in the English Premier League table with Manchester United and Arsenal lying in between the two. While all may seem to be out of reach to grab Chelsea and vie for the league title, the positioning of all these teams is grand when UEFA Champions League and Europa league is taken in to consideration. Currently the Toffees sit on the outside looking in for either in seventh while the Reds are hanging on to a Champions League play-in berth for dear life.
Everton has certainly hit their stride. The Toffees have won their last two fixtures and outscored the opposition 7-0 in doing so. The Toffees racked up a quick six points against Hull and West Bromwich Albion which with due respect is not top-tier competition. Nevertheless, Everton has made the most of their itinerary in hoping to keep pace with their cross-city brethren who come in 2-0-1 in their recent three fixtures. The Liverpudlians have much to rejoice in as both teams in their city have emerged to contend with Manchester and London on the national stage.
Liverpool has been impressive. The Reds own a 3-1 victory over Arsenal to follow it up with a 2-1 victory over Burnley. Most recently, Liverpool traveled to Etihad Stadium to draw Manchester City on its own turf. Skipper Jurgen Klopp has this team firing on all cylinders down the back-stretch and they have a solid chance to finish second overall in the league table as they trail the current runner-up Tottenham by three points. Every point is critical at this stage with just ten matches left. If Liverpool were to finish second or third they were automatically qualify for Champions League play and not have to play-in to the league if they finished fourth. The same goes for the Toffees. Finishing sixth gives them a play-in opportunity to Europa while fifth or sixth guarantees a berth. Needless to say the stock on Liverpool is likely higher of the two given who they have played recently and how they have fared.
You know our stance, laying juice is always a dangerous move especially when the expectations are high. Given the fact this one is at Anfield, Liverpool is expected to win this one. However, rivalry games procure the unexpected. The Toffees can beat the Reds in Anfield. They have the offensive personnel to challenge a Liverpool club that concedes often. With this being said, it would even safe to say that a draw is certainly feasible. In fact, it may be the most likely scenario given the fact neither manager can afford to lose a game here.
Given the potency of both attacks and both clubs propensity to concede goals overall, the reaction would be to go for the Over. However, both managers may play this one conservatively and try to prevent the other team from scoring as opposed to going for a win in a shootout. Therefore the Under 2.5 at +110 (11/10) offers great value and is our recommendation. As a whole both wagers offer a total of a potential purse of 4.2 units if they are both taken. Ultimately, we would lean on the draw more than anything else.
Everton Recent Form
D Middlesbrough 0-0
W Sunderland 2-0
L Tottenham Hotspur 2-3
W West Bromwich Albion 3-0
W Hull City 4-0
Liverpool Recent Form
W Tottenham Hotspur 2-0
L Leicester City 1-3
W Arsenal 3-1
W Burnley 2-1
D Manchester City 1-1
Keith’s Prediction for the Game: DRAW (31/10) +310 and UNDER 2.5 (11/10) +110.
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