Liverpool vs Everton | Sunday 24th April 2022, 16:30 | Sky Sports
Two teams. One city. Contrasting campaigns. It’s a huge Merseyside derby at Anfield, with implications at both ends of the table.
Liverpool brushed aside Man Utd 4-0 on Tuesday to go top of the Premier League table. But that only lasted for 24 hours after Man City’s win against Brighton saw Pep Guardiola’s side reclaim first place.
At the other end of the table, Richarlison’s late strike earned Everton a vital point against Leicester in their quest for survival. However, they’re just one point above the dreaded dotted line after Burnley’s 2-0 victory over Southampton.
Now the Toffees must face their city rivals knowing that they could start the game in the bottom three. And the last place you want to go to when you need points is Anfield.
The Reds are yet to fall to defeat on home turf this season (P16, W13, D3). And they’ve only conceded seven home league goals – the fewest in the division. So, Everton have their work cut out adding to their one away win and 13 away goals.
In my Liverpool v Man Utd preview, I wrote about how left-backs have been racking up the tackles against the Reds. Sadly, Ralf Rangnick didn’t get the memo to start Alex Telles.
Despite Man Utd playing a back five, Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka both hit four tackles each. And given the numbers hit by left-backs mentioned in my other piece, it’s hard to ignore that trend.
I’ve doubled up Vitalii Mykolenko and Seamus Coleman for 2+ tackles each. It comes out at a nice 23/30 with Ladbrokes.
Coleman has hit 2+ in 15 of 24 apps, including the reverse at Goodison Park. Overall, he averages 2.3 tackles per game and sits second on the list of top tacklers for the Toffees. His 56 is only bettered by combative midfielder Allan (71).
Right-backs against Liverpool have been able to get stuck in too. Wan-Bissaka landed four, as did Joao Cancelo in the FA Cup semi-final. Benfica’s Gilberto hit six in the first leg, then four in the second leg of their Champions League clash.
Mykolenko has started just six league games so far, but the 22-year-old has hit 2+ tackles in four of his six full matches. They include away games at Norwich, Burnley and West Ham. Then, there are the three landed in Everton’s 1-0 win over Man Utd.
Looking further back, the Ukrainian completed five tackles against the Netherlands and England at Euro 2020, showing against the better sides he does tend to get some decent numbers.
Based on the left-back numbers shown in the previous article, then Mykolenko should hit some good numbers, as should Coleman given who they’ll be lining up against.
I have requested some prices with Sky for the pair to make different tackle lines, so keep an eye on my Twitter to see if they get priced up. If the price is right, they’ll be worth some part of your staking plan.
Now, it’s obvious that Man City and Liverpool are a cut above. The Reds should dominate against an Everton side struggling to find their form at a crucial juncture in the season.
Lampard’s side rank 16th for expected goals (xG), 13th for expected goals against (xGA), 5th for most goals conceded and give away six corners per away game on average. Those metrics are quite poor for the money they’ve blown in recent years.
I’m more than happy to take an angle that shows Liverpool will outclass their Merseyside rivals. It’s 23/20 for the Reds to score in both halves and take over 1 corner in each half using the Bet365 Bet Builder.
Klopp’s side have scored in both halves during 21 of 32 league games (66%) – the highest number in the league. While at Anfield, they’ve found the opponent’s net either side of half-time on 10 occasions out of 16 (63%) – another number no side can beat.
It’s something the Reds have done in five of their last seven league games as well, including that thrilling 2-2 draw against title rivals Man City two weeks ago.
Everton have conceded in both halves seven times out of 15 away games (47%) – only Leicester, Norwich and Southampton’s eight trumps that.
And you don’t need me to tell you about the quality Jurgen Klopp has at his disposal with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz.
When it comes to the corners, only Man City (267) have taken more than Liverpool (235) in the top-flight this season. That’s an average of 7.3 per game.
Breaking the numbers down, Liverpool average four corners in the first half of league games at Anfield and 3.56 in the second.
Liverpool hit nine corners on Tuesday, seven in the first half and two after the break. Since the start of February, they’ve hit 2+ corners in each half against Watford, Arsenal, Brighton, Norwich, Burnley and Leicester.
They’ve hit over one corner in each half in 12 of their 16 league games at Anfield. And we all know how Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold like to get forward, which should pin Everton back quite deep.
The Toffees concede around three corners in both halves during away games, and they don’t look a resolute unit, as shown by a forgettable night in north London against Spurs.
Everton have had to defend 2+ corners in each half in 11 of 15 away games, including their visits to Burnley, Spurs and Newcastle in recent weeks.
I’ll just be playing those two 23/20 bets. But it’s hard not to mention the referee for a Merseyside derby. The man tasked with keeping control is Stuart Attwell.
After the way he handled the League Cup final, I’ve been avoiding him for cards. And given the crucial nature of this one for both sides, he could follow a similar, lenient approach.
The Warwickshire whistler has seemingly calmed down slightly in recent weeks with his last 10 games all seeing four or fewer cards (2, 1, 2, 4, 4, 2, 4, 2, 2 & 4).
Look away now Everton fans! That run includes the Toffees' 5-0 defeat at Spurs and 4-0 FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace. Not a good omen for this trip across Stanley Park!