The Merseyside derby is one of England’s best rivalries and each club has plenty to gain when Liverpool visit Everton Saturday.
Liverpool sit within two points of league leader Arsenal, the team they lost to earlier this month. Everton, meanwhile, sit in sixth place in the league table, five points back of the Gunners.
Everton are unbeaten in their last four English Premiership matches, but their last two have ended in scoreless draws. Goodison Park is a very tough place for opponents to play and Everton already have a win over Chelsea this season on their home pitch.
Everton have been a mainstay in the Europa League, but they aim for a top four finish in the EPL to get a coveted Champions League berth for next season. They can take a significant stride with a win over Liverpool this weekend.
Sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark had Liverpool as the road favorite at +140 with Everton at +180 and a draw line of +240.
The Reds’ only losses this season have come against Arsenal and Southampton. Their list of victories include a triumph over Manchester United.
These two teams have conceded the same amount of goals this season (10), but the Reds’ offense has been superior with seven more goals. Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suárez are tied for the league lead with eight goals apiece.
Suárez has been electric, scoring his goals in just six league matches since he returned from suspension.
Liverpool owner John Henry is flying Suárez back from Uruguay on his private jet after Tuesday’s World Cup intercontinental tie with Jordan, as he wants to make sure his star gets back in plenty of time for the big derby.
Romelu Lukaku leads Everton with five goals and no other player has more than two. Everton win with defense and, in 11 matches, they have just 14 goals. They have scored the least among the top nine teams in the league.
Everton goalie Tim Howard has two clean sheets in his last two matches and the Reds’ offense, which has scored 13 goals in their last five matches, will make it hard for him to make it three in a row.
Last season at Goodison Park, these teams played to a 2-2 draw.
Everton have won the time of possession battle in their last two matches, including dominating it in their last match, but their offense is out of stride. They have to get back on track against a tough Reds’ defense and the prediction calls for neither side to earn a clean sheet.
Prediction: 1-1 Draw