Everton v Liverpool: Cash in on fast-starting Reds

Everton won the bragging rights for once on Merseyside last season but Dave Tindall expects Liverpool to take revenge on Wednesday night...

Everton the league's out-of-form team

Early last season when Everton hit back late to claim a 2-2 derby draw at Goodison, it kept the Toffees top of the table by three points from Liverpool.

Carlo Ancelotti's men had banked 13 points from their opening five games and excitement in the blue half of the city was its highest for years.

Their challenge petered out fairly miserably - they finished 10th - although there was a late-season high when the Blues won a first Premier League game at Anfield since 1999.

However, they go into this season's renewal at Goodison in a real slump. Seek out a six-game form table and Everton are 20th and bottom with just one point from their last six games.

Everton had started brightly under new boss Rafa Benitez despite plenty of the home fans struggling to accept a man who still holds legendary status across Stanley Park.

But any stock the former Liverpool manager had is at rock bottom after a miserable run which has left them in 14th place, a full 13 points behind their local rivals.

Liverpool in three-horse title race

Perhaps even more so than the points themselves, a look at the Goal Difference charts highlights how Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool appear a class apart from the rest this season.

Liverpool are +28, Chelsea +26 and Manchester City +20. West Ham (+8) are the only other side in positive figures.

As for what really counts, Chelsea have 30 points, with City on 29 and Liverpool 28.

The title betting going into the midweek matches shows Man City at 1.76, Chelsea 4.2 and Liverpool 5.4.

On first glance, that seems to be overvaluing City and undervaluing Chelsea and Liverpool even though Pep Guardiola's men have won three of the last four titles.

Liverpool finally got theirs two seasons ago, of course, but this fixture last term had a big effect on why their defence was so problematical.

Jordan Pickford's reckless challenge put Virgil van Dijk out for the season and those in the Liverpool camp won't have forgotten Richarlison's wild lunge on Thiago either: it sidelined the Spaniard for two-and-a-half-months.

Add in an injury-time Sadio Mane 'winner' being chalked for a very, very marginal offside following a lengthy VAR review and this really was a maddening afternoon for Jurgen Klopp.

There was also crashing disappointment at Anfield in February when Everton were one of six straight Premier League visitors to waltz off with all three points.

Beyond the usual reasons, Liverpool have several scores to settle.

Reds short but odds-against option can be found

With Liverpool genuine title contenders and a full 13 points ahead of out-of-form Everton after 13 games, there only seems to be one winner.

When the Toffees nicked a point in this fixture last season they were flying and had Dominic Calvert-Lewin knocking them in for fun.

It was his header that earned the 2-2 draw but he won't be fit enough for Wednesday night and his absence is killing the home side at the moment.

With no focal point, Everton look lacklustre and they've managed just three goals in the woeful six-game run which has seem them drop like a stone.

This is all reflected in the outright market, with Liverpool 1.47 to bank another three points. Everton are 6.4 while The Draw is 4.5.

It's worth remembering that eight of Liverpool's last nine Premier League visits to Everton have finished level, including each of the last four.

It's been a difficult fixture for Klopp and he hinted at that after the Southampton game, last year's injuries to van Dijk and Thiago clearly on his mind.

But Old Trafford was a bogey ground for Klopp until recently and he's more than capable of solving this puzzle too - especially with Everton struggling.

Rafa will likely play for a 0-0 and somehow hope to nick something but good luck with that against a Liverpool side that has scored at least two goals in their last 17 games, a feat last managed in 1927.

One pattern of Liverpool's wins this season is that they've done lots of the good stuff early rather than relied on late goals.

In fact, in all eight of their Premier League wins so far, they've been leading at the break. There's an obvious way to cash in so rather than take the skinnyish odds on the outright win, back Liverpool/Liverpool on the Half Time/Full Time.

Liverpool to be leading at the interval then going on to bank all three points is 2.14.

Jota can set Reds on their way

Diogo Jota scored the opening goal for Liverpool in their first two Premier League matches of the season.

And the Portuguese forward took just two minutes to put the Reds in front against Southampton on Saturday.

He's certainly not a player who needs a few sighters before putting one away. In fact, Jota's goal minute times in all comps for LFC this season read: 26, 18, 31, 13, 13, 52, 2, 32.

They make him a good candidate for first goalscorer at 5.5.

Opta Stat

Everton manager Rafael Benítez has won just one of his 10 Premier League games against sides he's previously managed (D3 L6), beating Chelsea 3-0 with Newcastle in May 2018. Meanwhile, former Liverpool managers have lost 13 of their last 14 Premier League games against the Reds, with Brendan Rodgers' Leicester winning 3-1 last season in the other. 

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