Bad tempered affair could leave both sides frustrated
A dark cloud is currently hanging over Merseyside as its two greatest teams currently struggle to hit the heights expected of them and as a result, this derby has even more significance than usual with Everton at odds of 5/2 to beat their arch-rivals Liverpool who are 23/20 for victory.
Rafa Benitez and David Moyes are two managers who are feeling the pressure this season, with Liverpool sitting seventh, a full 13 points off the leaders Chelsea, while Everton look like being sucked in to a relegation battle as they sit just four points from the drop zone.
A host of injuries for both sides would go some way to explaining the erratic runs of results but problems at Liverpool surely run deeper with constant reports of unrest surely having some substance behind them and both sides could be happy with just not losing here - the draw is 23/10.
Liverpool without Fernando Torres have looked at a loss where to score goals from and he may be back on Sunday which will give them a huge boost and he is 9/2 to score first - he has scored three in three against the Toffees. David N'gog has been given his chance and looks like he has potential and is 13/2 to bag the first goal, while he may need help from the likes of Steven Gerrard (13/2) and Yossi Benayoun (9/1).
Everton meanwhile welcome back suspended pair Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Marouane Fellaini, and at 10/1 and 9/1 respectively to score first, both could have a say in proceedings, particularly the Russian who scored two for his country in the World Cup qualifiers. Louis Saha has looked menacing recently and is 6/1, with Yakubu at 13/2 and Tim Cahill 7/1.
So, which way will this one go? Well most punters will be queuing up to get on a narrow Liverpool win assuming quality will shine through so 1-0 at 5/1 and 2-1 at 13/2 are bound to be popular, but it is worth noting that Everton haven't lost at Goodison Park since the opening day of the season, so they could nick it with a 1-0 at 15/2 or 2-1 is 9/1 but the draw is starting to look more appealing so 1-1 at 9/2 or 2-2 at 14/1 could be worth a second look.
With both sides so desperate for a win it is fair to think that cards could be a big feature of the game and interestingly there have been seven red cards in the last seven Merseyside derbies at Goodison Park - all to Everton players, so a dabble in the card markets could reap dividends, like a card in the 1st to 15th minute at 10/3 has appeal, while a red card in the game is 11/4 and over 3 Everton cards at 17/10 looks a decent bet.
This looks tough to call and punters should tread carefully if they think backing Liverpool is a good thing against out of form Everton as with Bilyaletdinov, Fellaini and Pienaar all back their midfield certainly packs a punch and Liverpool will be praying Torres is passed fit to play.
This is likely to be bad tempered and ultimately fruitless for both managers and a draw looks the best bet with a speculative play on 2-2 at 14/1 the call, while a bet on card in the first 15 minutes at 10/3 should bear fruits and after his goals for the national side, Bilyaletdinov may be able to carry that form on and is worth a go at 7/2 to score anytime.
Bilyaletdinov to score anytime
A card in the 1st - 15th minute - 10/3