WE'VE joined forced with renowned punter James Cantrill (@JimmyThePunt) to set-up and share our Colossus Premier League Predictor selections ahead of Saturday's Premier League highlight between Liverpool and Everton.
What will the Correct Score be?
Derby’s are always horribly hard to call, and this may be the most unpredictable of the lot. They say form goes out the window in these games and looking at these sides' most recent bouts that appears to ring true.
Three of the last six head-to-heads have ended all-square and Liverpool won by a single goal in two others. However, this fixture can also be goal-laden – the most recent thriller being the 5-2 home victory at Anfield in December 2019.
Obviously, the result and subsequent score hinges on how the sides set up and what tactics the managers implement. Everton have shifted shape a lot this season, however, Carlo Ancelotti has had his hand forced on most of these occasions due to injuries. That being said, if Dominic Calvert-Lewin is declared fit, the Toffees will almost have a full strength squad available here, with the only noticeable absentee being Allan.
I think Everton’s best chance of a result is to try and contain the reigning champions. This would see the Blues deploy a low block, and if executed successfully would lead to a low scoring, cagey affair. Everton looked dead on their feet following their defeat to Man City on Wednesday and with Liverpool playing in the Champions League the night before, fatigue could be rife.
Four of the last six meetings have ended in stalemates and I think Saturday's clash has the potential to follow suit. That being said, if I had to pick a winner I’d go with the hosts, so I am going to cover both by selecting the 1-1 draw and 2-1.
Selection: 1-1, 2-1
Will a penalty be taken?
Overseeing this one is Chris Kavanagh. He has averaged 0.14 penalties per-game in the Premier League this season, which is the fourth-fewest average in comparison with other top-tier referees.
The two penalties he did award came in the same game – Brighton versus Man Utd- early in the season when penalties were commonplace due to harsh handball rule. Since then he has overseen 12 PL games and awarded zero penalties.
Everton have only received two spot-kicks all season and with the Toffees wanting to keep the hosts at arms length, I can’t see there being much penalty box action at Anfield, which is why I do not think there will be a penalty.
Will a player be sent off?
Kavanagh is yet to brandish a red card in the Premier League in 2020/21 and Liverpool are yet to receive on. However, Everton have collected two.
Lucas Digne was given a straight red against Southampton. Ancelotti said that decision was a joke and appealed the sending off – subsequently Digne’s suspension was reduced from a three-game ban to a one match suspension. Everton’s only other red card in the league this season was for a RIcharlison horror tackle in the reverse.
This fixture does have the capacity to boil over, as has been proven time and time again, and I don’t think Liverpool will have forgotten what happened last time these sides met, Jordan Pickford’s tackle on Virgil Van Dijk.
Therefore, given the referee, and Liverpool’s immaculate record for cards, alongside the fixture's heated nature and recent bad blood, I have covered both possibilities.
Selection: Yes, No
Will a goal be scored in the 1st half?
In the three Premier League games in which Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp have been at the helm of their respective clubs, only one game has featured at least one first half goal, and that was the most recent clash. Prior to that there has been only one goal in the other two games and that arrived in injury time.
Everton have played seven games against the Big Six this season, the games have featured an average of 3.3 goals per-game. 56.5% of those goals have come in the first half with five games seeing two or more strikes in the first 45, and two seeing three or more.
Liverpool’s last 10 games against sides currently in the top-half have averaged 3.2 goals per-game – of those 34.4% came before half-time. In fact, only one of their last five games against top-10 teams have featured a first half goal and that came in the third minute of stoppage-time against Spurs.
With such contrasting statistics, once again I am going to cover both outcomes.
Selection: Yes, No
How many corners will be taken by Liverpool?
Liverpool have averaged 6.75 corners in the league this season. In their last three games they had two against RB Leipzig, 12 versus Leicester and six against Man City. That is an average of 6.66, but obviously a huge range.
In the Reds' home games against top half side they hit more consistent numbers; 6/7/7/10/7 which is why I have picked 7-8 and 9+ here.
Selection: 7-8, 9+
How many corners will be taken by Everton?
Accumulating a total of 100 corners domestically, an average of 4.2 per-game, Everton rank 14th for corners in the Premier League. Against the traditional Big Six they have averaged four corners, however, in their games against Man City (0), Man Utd (1) and Liverpool (2) they have averaged one per-game.
Given the underlying data I have decided to cover 0-2 and 3-4.
Selection: 0-2, 3-4
How many cards will be shown to Liverpool?
The last six head-to-heads have seen 22 cards brandished in total with Liverpool receiving an average of 1.6 per-game, collecting the following totals in the most recent three; 2/2/0.
The hosts have received the following cards in their last five games versus top half teams: 2/2/0/2/2.
With Kavanagh averaging 3.07 yellows in the league this season, I have one and two cards selected here.
How many cards will be shown to Everton?
Everton have averaged exactly two cards per-game in the last six Merseyside derbies, receiving 3/2/1 in the last three.
In the Premier League, the Blues have averaged 1.8 yellows and received two versus Manchester United and one against City in their two most recent games against the big boys.
Selection: 1, 2
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