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Penalty more likely than own goal or red card when Liverpool host Everton

The early part of this century was rife with red cards when Liverpool squared off with Everton in Premier League Merseyside derbies, with Thomas Gravesen, Igor Biscan, David Weir and Gary Naysmith all shown their marching orders.

Four more players were dismissed across the two meetings in the 2005/06 campaign, while other encounters in 2007 and 2010 both witnessed multiple players shown red cards.

However, the most recent encounters have been fairly tame from a red-card perspective, with no dismissals in the last five Merseyside derbies.

It is 9/4 that at least one red card is shown at Anfield this time and given the relative niceness of recent derbies, there is a feeling that one is overdue.

But it is worth noting that these two clubs would both be in the top half if a fair play Premier League table existed and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard is the only player to see red for either club this season in the top flight.

Therefore, it may be more prudent to take advantage of one of the alternate betting specials for this derby, with 5/2 on offer that a penalty is awarded and 7/1 that an own goal is scored.

The latter looks an especially big price considering that Liverpool have already profited from three own goals this season, with only Swansea and Manchester City benefiting from more.

Meanwhile, of the three specials on offer, an own goal happened most recently in a Merseyside derby, when Leighton Baines deflected Luis Suarez’ goal-bound shot past Howard in the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park in October 2012.

In terms of penalties, Liverpool have scored the joint-most of four with Tottenham, while Everton have only netted one.

The last penalty scored in a Merseyside derby was by Dirk Kuyt, in another 2-2 draw in January 2011.

Given these high-scoring draws and the 3-3 earlier this season at Goodison, over 3.5 goals in the match may have plenty of admirers here at 13/8.

On the flip side, for those fancying a cagey affair that is short on goals, Coral are offering the top industry odds of 16/1 that the game finishes 0-0.

In terms of match betting, Liverpool are favourites with their home advantage at 4/5, with Everton 10/3 and the draw available at 13/5.