Premier League: How Everton can beat Liverpool in Merseyside derby
Everton are riding the crest of a wave so far this season and have recorded convincing wins over Chelsea and Southampton, while also showing resilience to come from 2-0 down to beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2 last time out.
They go up against Liverpool next time out in the Merseyside derby, a match they are 17/10 with Coral to win and they are more than capable of a favourable result.
As usual, the Reds’ rearguard has looked susceptible this season so far, and the Toffees have shown that they are more than capable of punishing leaky, unorganised defences.
Their front four this term have been fantastic, with Romelu Lukaku, Steven Naismith, Ross Barkley and Arouna Kone operating as a superbly slick unit, while Gerard Deulofeu has shown that he can become an integral player, after two assists at The Hawthorns.
Lukaku looks hungry, and after dominant display against Southampton in which he bagged a brace, he followed up with two more against the Baggies. He is capable of wreaking havoc on the Reds at Goodison Park in front of what will be a raucous home crowd and is 7/1 to net two or more.
Meanwhile, Naismith ran the show against Chelsea and from the bench, coming on inside the first 10 minutes and the Blues defensive frailties were exposed as he drifted between the lines at will, unmarked. His anytime price of 15/8 should be noted and the Reds may have a hard time keeping him contained.
With Liverpool sporting a number of injuries, the Toffees may not get a better chance to claim three points. The absence of Christian Benteke is a big blow for Brendan Rodgers, while Roberto Firmino is also out, Daniel Sturridge wrapped up in cotton wool and Danny Ings yet to flourish at Anfield.
Further to this, they are without Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard this season. The latter has been a key influence for the Reds in big games and Everton may have their very own ‘Stevie G’ in rising star Ross Barkley, who has been instrumental for them this term.
Four goals and three assists so far, he has also been key to the way Roberto Martinez’ team have been operating. Most of the team’s play has gone through him and he makes them tick.
Perhaps even more surprising than their attacking unit, has been Everton’s defenders. While John Stones was persistently linked to Chelsea in the summer, even handing in a transfer request, his response has been nothing less than admirable.
He has got his head down and was even one of the best performing players in his club’s 3-1 victory over Jose Mourinho’s side, while youngster Brendan Galloway has shown he is more than capable of being Leighton Baines’ long term successor at left back, providing boundless energy down the flank.
Simply put, Everton have enough about them to contain Liverpool’s attackers, while possessing the requisite talent up front to upset the Reds’ defence.
Gareth Barry and James McCarthy, meanwhile, provide a formidable shield and a platform on which to build attacks, with Aaron Lennon offering a pacey option on the flank. Martinez’ men should be more than confident of taking all three points off their major rivals.