Signs looking good for another Liverpool v Everton thriller
You never really know what you’re going to get in derby games. More often than not they are tense, tight affairs with tackles flying in and everybody petrified of making the one mistake that will lead to deadly rivals securing the bragging rights until the next time.
And then you get games like Everton 3 Liverpool 3 at Goodison Park last November, a fantastic feast of thrilling football, the result in doubt until Daniel Sturridge’s late equaliser for the Reds.
These are the high-scoring games that are meant to give managers nightmares, but Roberto Martinez is drooling at the prospect of another end-to-end clash at Anfield on Tuesday.
Everton’s injury list grew longer still at the weekend when Costa Rican Bryan Oviedo broke his leg in two places, an injury so serious that he has already been ruled out of the World Cup.
But Martinez is still determined to take the game to Liverpool and anticipates another game more resembling basketball than chess with both teams going for the throat.
There’s just one point separating the two in-form Merseyside clubs as they battle for top-four places in the Premier League, but Everton haven’t won at Anfield since 1999 and Coral go 100/30 that the Toffees break that run.
Liverpool are 4/5, but the draw makes most appeal at 13/5 and, judging by Martinez’s comments, it might well be another high-scoring affair.
Coral offer 45/1 it finishes 3-3 again, an outcome that is by no means out of the question, although 2-2 (12/1) is perhaps more likely. And whatever the final result, I would expect both teams to score (4/7).
Only Manchester City have scored more goals at home than Liverpool this season and though Brendan Rodgers does have injury concerns at the back (Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique) and in midfield (Lucas), his SAS, Sturridge and Luis Suarez, are back together and firing on all cylinders again.
The incredible Suarez has now scored 22 goals in 16 games this season and is 8/11 to hit the back of the net again on Tuesday (3/1 first or last).
Everton have been defensively quite tight this season, especially on their travels, but they have goals in them as well. Romelu Lukaku was on the mark twice in that 3-3 and Coral go 7/4 that he strikes again.
In the bigger scheme of things, both Liverpool (10/11 to finish in the top four) and Everton (4/1) will want a good result to increase their chances of a Champions League place, but all that will be forgotten once the game kicks off – above all else this will be about local pride.