Let’s be honest, we couldn’t wait for the international break to end (yawn!). All of us had circled Saturday 17th October in our calendars, and at last, it’s finally here. League leaders Everton welcome Liverpool to Goodison Park in the biggest Merseyside derby in a long while.
Reading that seems strange. League leaders Everton. Everton top of the league. Shape the sentence however you wish, it changes nothing. Everton are unbeaten in four and lead the way.
The Merseyside Derby is always spicy, and the current context adds more fire to the flavour. Liverpool’s last outing was a disaster while it’s all rosy at Goodison. Even while the teams took a break for the internationals, Everton still managed to shine as Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored on his England debut. It couldn’t be sweeter for the Toffees right now and this derby always means more than the three points.
Ancelotti seems to be exactly what the club has been missing and his summer signings have been magnificent. The Italian tactician won the Manager of the Month award for September and the improvements from last season are visible.
This year he opted for a faster and more fluid 4-3-3 rather than the robust 4-4-2 and they keep the ball for longer spells than last season. Average possession has gone up 6% while their passing count has shot up by 165 per 90 minutes. Those little details have helped them gain control of matches and Carlo’s magic also shows when they don’t have the ball. They tackle faster, with 20 made per game on average. Three more tackles on average than last season only tell a small part of the story.
Liverpool can expose Pickford
Everton have however conceded five goals in four and you just know that if they trade Jordan Pickford for a taller, more commanding goalie they’d be close to the finished product.
That’s precisely where Liverpool can expose them. Putting pressure on Jordan Pickford in set-pieces can be the way forward for the Reds as they look to bounce back from an embarrassing defeat to Aston Villa.
Everton can expose Adrian
Do you see the trend? Both goalkeepers have been shaky this season, and with both teams scoring for fun, this game has 4-4 written all over it. While that sounds like fun and we’d all love for an eight-goal thriller, football’s never been that simple!
(Just in case, Everton 4-4 Liverpool odds: 81.00)
Adrian was terrible against Aston Villa and Allison’s absence has been clear. The Spaniard has made five errors that lead to a goal in his last 21 appearances which is not good enough for the defending champions.
With James Rodriguez and Calvert-Lewin both on form, Everton have a solid chance of winning this derby.
Everton to win: 3.80
History to repeat itself?
The last time Everton beat Liverpool at Goodison was exactly 10 years ago to the day of this fixture. On October 17th, 2010 Everton won 2-0… What are the odds of a repeat you ask? Now that would be a spooky treat for Halloween! 2020 has been strange enough, after all!
Correct score: Everton 2-0 Liverpool: 21.00
Get Calvert-Lewin to score first at 6.25