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Nic Ladds 18th Jan 2009 - 19:00

Liverpool can leave the Toffees stuck for answers

Rafa Benitez will hope odds of 8/13 about a Liverpool win can be justified to silence all critics who question The Red's recent form and Benitez's loyalty.

This week's football news has been dominated by the fact that Rafa has reportedly refused to sign a new contract and David Moyes will be quietly confident Everton can get a result at rewarding odds of 11/2 with the draw at 12/5 in the betting.

Having said Liverpool's form has been questioned they are still unbeaten in their last ten Premier League games but need to start turning the draws they are wracking up into wins to keep up their title challenge.

Liverpool are yet to lose at home this season but Everton have an excellent away record. With The Reds hoping to regain their place at the top of the Premier League and Everton chasing a European place we should be in for an exciting clash.

The Toffees are still devoid of striking options and Tim Cahill will continue to provide striking support for Victor Anichebe and the pair available at odds of 8/1 and 9/1 respectively to breach the miserly Liverpool defence first.

Mikel Arteta scored a screamer the other week and could be threat at a big looking 16/1 for first goal or 6/1 to score anytime.

Fernando Torres should return for Liverpool and odds of 7/2 about the Spaniard scoring first will appeal to many with the prolific Steven Gerrard at 5/1.

Ryan Babel doesn't get to start many games but he is likely to get a run out and carries a potent goal threat making odds of 8/1 about him scoring the last goal look reasonable.

This is unlikely to be a goal fest and the half time draw at even money looks a likely outcome with draw half time/Liverpool full time at 3/1 looking the most feasible double result.

Liverpool's match odds are a little prohibitive so a correct score of 1-0 to the Reds is 5/1, 2-0 is 11/2 and 2-1 is 7/1. If you fancy Everton to shock their great rivals then 1-0 to the Toffees can be backed at a big looking 11/1.

Due to the likely cagey nature of the game a scoring draw of 1-1 at odds of 5/1 may tempt you or if a break through seems implausible then no goal scorer is 15/2.

Merseyside derbys are generally fairly bad tempered affairs and over 55 booking points at 5/6 looks a highly probably outcome as seven of the last nine matches have featured over this amount.

These two will meet again six days later in the FA Cup so the added bonus of momentum through a victory will be up for grabs.

Liverpool are rightly favourites to win this and it is hard to envisage Everton taking all three points but they will battle to the end.

Benitez will desperately not want to lose this game as Liverpool's form has taken a bit of a dip and with his recent contract issues and outburst at Alex Ferguson a win would take some of the attention off his off the field antics.

Liverpool to win 1-0 - 5/1
Over 55 booking points - 5/6

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