Moyes out to take King Kenny's crown
Everton v Liverpool - Saturday 12:45 - live on Sky Sports 2
Kenny Dalglish returns to Goodison Park as Liverpool manager for the first time since February 1991 hoping that his Reds team doesn't come unstuck against David Moyes' Toffees.
The 216th edition of the Merseyside derby finds old foes Everton (11/5 match betting) and Liverpool (6/4) separated by just three league points but Everton, currently trailing their rivals, have played a game less. For David Moyes this game is far more important than just claiming the bragging rights for the next couple of months. After raising nearly £15 million through player sales in the summer yet only being able to bring in three loan signings, the Scot will feel the need to demonstrate that his side are still capable of challenging the top teams in the Premier League.
Moyes will leave it as late as possible before naming his squad to give Tim Cahill (7/1 first scorer, 2/1 anytime) the best chance of being fit for the derby. The Australian hasn't trained all week after sustaining a shin injury in a challenge with Manchester City's Vincent Kompany last weekend. His inclusion would be a massive boost to the blues. Cahill has scored five Premier League goals in this fixture, the most of any Everton player since the great Dixie Dean.
Reds boss Dalglish will take his place in the visitor's dugout for a derby match for the first time in twenty years. Back then Dalglish famously quit the Anfield club just days after an epic 4-4 (Correct Score 200/1) FA Cup tie with the Toffees, citing the pressure of the job and the strain it had taken on him over the years.
His twenty year exile from the Liverpool manager's position has seen the Reds overtaken by Manchester United as the top team in English football but what hasn't diminished, is the excitement, passion and hunger that a Merseyside derby brings. After successive defeats to Stoke City and Tottenham the Liverpool ship was somewhat steadied with a 2-1 victory at home to Wolves. Netherless, defeat to their cross-city rivals would make it three defeats from their last four and after the hype at the beginning of the season that this could finally be Liverpool's year, would be just unacceptable.
The player that Dalglish has looked to so far this campaign to provide the spark for his team has been Luis Suarez (5/1 first scorer, 5/4 anytime). The Uruguayan star notched against Wolves at Anfield last week and has looked every inch a new Kop hero. For Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard (10/3 anytime scorer) this game may have come a week too soon for him to start but after being slowly reintroduced to first team football he surely isn't far away from regaining a starting berth.
Last season Everton scored four goals past Pepe Reina as David Moyes' men took four points off Liverpool. At Goodison, they strolled to a 2-0 win (14/1 correct score) thanks to goals from Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill and were denied a win at Anfield by a Dirk Kuyt (11/4 anytime scorer) penalty. Both teams have changed since then though, while Everton have the edge in terms of derby experience, Liverpool have brought in a number of high profile signings including Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Jose Enrique and Andy Carroll, all of whom have experienced big local derby games.
In the white hot atmosphere of a derby game it could depend on who keeps their cool the best. since the inception of the Premier League the Merseyside derby has had more red cards than any other game, thus has been referred to as "The most ill-disciplined and explosive fixture in the Premier League" Therefore the card markets could provide a great bit of interest. The 1st card to be shown is priced at 21/10 Everton and 3/4 Liverpool while an early card is certainly not out of the question, a card in the first to the fifteenth minute can be backed at 15/8.
The William Hill Match winner offer for this match centres around the fiery nature of the game. For either team to have a player sent off is priced at 11/4, enhanced from 9/4.
I feel that this match could be high scoring but ultimately an even affair. I would go for:
2-2 Correct Score @ 16/1
Over 2.5 goals @ 21/20
Over 2.5 goals, Over 12 corners, Over 6 cards Treble @ 16/1