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McCarthy musters Everton ahead of Merseyside derby

Everton capitulated at Anfield last season, going down 4-0, as Daniel Sturridge helped himself to a brace. Liverpool’s campaign, however, has so far been marked with indifference, and inconsistency.

A 3-0 victory for Brendan Rodgers’ boys over Tottenham at White Hart Lane remains one of their only high points, with six points from five fixtures and a mid-table position; they are one place above rivals Manchester United, whose start has already been deemed a disaster.

Coral are offering odds of 4/1 (with a max stake of £10) on there being a red card in this Merseyside derby, which can be a tempestuous affair at the best of times.

Liverpool are odds-on at 17/20 to record another victory over the Toffees, who will have retribution on their minds. Reds boss Rodgers has described his team as “a little bit broken”, after two league defeats in a row.

It is a strange situation at Anfield. There is no doubt that when they click they will be a good team, though they are in transition at the moment, and clearly still dealing with the loss of Luis Suarez. Mario Balotelli is still re-acclimatising to life in England and, following one Champions League goal, he is still yet to net in the Premier League.

Balotelli is 11/2 to get on the scoresheet first, although Sturridge could yet feature. The backroom staff are monitoring him closely, and if he appears is 6/1 to match his brace from last term.

Rodgers is sweating on the fitness of midfielders Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho, who will be touch and go right up until kick-off, though captain Steven Gerrard, who notched the first goal last time is 8/1 to repeat that feat.

Everton, however, were shocked at home by Crystal Palace in their last league match, going down 3-2, though with odds of 3/1, they seem largely unfancied in this latest installment of the Merseyside derby.

James McCarthy has been speaking about the clash last term, and is keen to avoid a repeat performance. “They are our arch rivals so to go down 4-0 to them sticks with you and makes you determined to make amends,” the midfielder said.

“We were up there fighting at the time we played them and it was frustrating what happened. We know it was not acceptable and not good enough,” McCarthy continued, who has odds of 12/1 to find the goal anytime.

“Not to make excuses, but we did have a couple of injuries, and players like Ross Barkley coming back from injury, but it was a bad, bad night all round, for the players and the fans.

“We felt we let the club and each and every one of the fans down and we want to put that right.”

Leighton Baines, who has two goals to his name already this term is a credible set piece threat, and has been one of the standout players for Everton so far. He is 11/2 to net anytime, while striker Romelu Lukaku will be looking for bragging rights over his former Blues teammate Sturridge, and is 13/2 to open the scoring after two goals in this derby at Goodison Park last term.