Liverpool (-143) vs Everton (+480), Draw (+310)
Liverpool (16-8-5, 56 points) and Everton (14-8-7, 50 points) meet again for the second Merseyside Derby of the season on Saturday, April 1, as the Toffees cross the street to play Liverpool at Anfield.
Liverpool were unlucky not to win against Manchester City in the last round. The game ended in a 1-1 draw, but things could have been so different if Adam Lallana hadn’t missed a goal-scoring opportunity from point blank range. The win would have propelled the Reds to third place. But alas, it was not to be, and they continue to reside in fourth in the table, one point back of City.
All things considered, Liverpool played a great game. They have a history of performing well against the top teams; it’s their unreliable performances against the lower-ranked sides that tends to cost them.
Currently thirteen points from the top, the Reds theoretically still have a shot at the title. But it’s going to take some extraordinary circumstances for that to happen. Right now, their focus is on sealing a direct berth in the Champions League for next year with a three-four finish.
Everton are having a decent season. As usual, they’re knocking on the door of the top five but ending up just short. They’re currently in seventh place, with a real shot at qualifying for the Europa League next year (top-seven).
They’ve found a star in striker Romelu Lukaku, an explosive 23-year-old goal-scoring machine. Everton are only the seventh highest-scoring side in the Premier League, but Lukaku towers above the other strikers as the league’s top goal-scorer, with a whopping 21 tallies so far.
He’s already made it clear that he will not be staying at Everton after the season, and there’s really no attacking talent in the Everton lineup without him. But that’s a worry for another day.
The last time the two Merseyside clubs met, Liverpool narrowly won 1-0. Everton have been impressive lately and pulled off two high-scoring wins in the last two rounds (4-0 vs Hull City; 2-0 vs West Brom) . On paper, Liverpool is the superior team but they can be extremely inconsistent. I think this is a good time to pick the underdog.
Pick: Everton (+480)