TOM LOVE (@TomLove_18) has perused the markets ahead of Super Sunday's showdown between Merseyside rivals Everton and Liverpool.
Everton v Liverpool | Sunday 3rd March 2019, 16:15 | Sky Sports
This Merseyside meeting rounds off a weekend of derbies, and whilst it’s always a monumental clash, on this occasion it’s arguably more important for the visitors.
With Manchester City beating Bournemouth on Saturday the pressure is back on Liverpool to win here to reclaim top spot. You wouldn't put it past them though, the Reds have lost just once this season and have an admirable defensive record that hasn’t been there in recent seasons. They’ve conceded just eight goals on the road all campaign, the best in the league.
Everton have failed to beat their fierce rivals in their last 18 matches. Marco Silva has failed to convince as head honcho at Goodison Park but a victory in this local derby will surely get the fans onside. The Ev did win last time out 3-0 at Cardiff but are stuck in no mans land in mid-table; without much to play for, they could fail to play with great intensity.
Slow burner in store?
I’m not expecting a fast start to this one, it’s rarely the case in both sides games this season. Twelve of Everton’s 28 games have failed to see a first-half goal, and 0-0 has been the score at the break on more Liverpool away games than any other. A goalless first-half is available to back at 2/1 with Bet365.
With high stakes on Liverpool having to win this one I think they will be safety first and it could be a feeling out process in the early exchanges. This reverse fixture was 0-0 at half-time with Liverpool getting a last-minute Divock Origi winner after a Jordan Pickford clanger. There’s also only only been three goals in the last four meetings between the pair at Goodison, so history backs up the look of a low-scoring affair.
One thing that has been a feature for Everton this season is just how bad they’re defending set-piece situations. It’s especially surprising when they’ve got the height of Michael Keane and Yerry Mina to help out. It seems to be a trait of Silva sides and whether it being down to just down to lack of individual concentration or a complete disregard on the training paddock, either way it’s not good.
Liverpool centre-half Virgil van Dijk recently went odds-on for the Premier League Player of the Year award and that’s testament to what he’s brought to the club. In their midweek demolishing of Watford the Dutch international scored two headers from crosses into the box.
Van Dijk will be looking to use his aerial presence against this unorganised Everton defence and SkyBet have boosted him to score a header to a bulbous 18/1 quote and that looks worth a small play.