Liverpool welcome Everton to Anfield on Tuesday in what is expected to be another pulsating Merseyside derby.
Both teams have impressed this season, with only one point separating them in the table and Champions League qualification is a distinct possibility for both teams.
Liverpool will be looking to continue their impressive home record, which has seen them win 9 of their 11 Premier League games at Anfield this season and take 28 points from a possible 33. The Reds have also scored an impressive 29 goals in these 11 home games, with only free scoring Manchester City (42) scoring more home goals this season.
Everton, however, have only suffered two Premier League defeats under new manager Roberto Martinez, with their only away defeat coming at The Etihad in October. The Toffees also boast the joint best defensive record away from home in the Premier League this season, conceding just 11 goals in their 11 away games.
Liverpool have had the better of the recent encounters between these teams and are unbeaten in their last 7 games against their rivals in all competitions, with Everton’s last win coming in October 2010. However, with Lukaku’s decent form against the Reds and Liverpool’s lack of defensive options there will be no better time for the Toffees to end this run.
Liverpool will be without defenders Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger and Jose Enrique, while Mamadou Sakho faces a late fitness test. Joe Allen will also miss out, while Lucas has been ruled out for two months with a knee ligament injury.
Jon Flanagan is fit to play after returning in the FA Cup tie with Bournemouth.
Darron Gibson and Arouna Kone are both long term absentees for Everton, while Ross Barkley, Steven Pienaar, Gerard Deulofeu and Seamus Coleman have all been ruled out.
Bryan Oviedo will definitely miss the game after suffering a double leg break against Stevenage in the FA Cup on Saturday.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 7 games against Everton in all competitions.
- The last three games between these sides has finished as a draw (3-3, 0-0, 2-2).
- Everton have only suffered two Premier League defeats under new manager Roberto Martinez.
- Everton have not won at Anfield since September 1999.
- Phillipe Coutinho has played 8 more through balls than any other player this season, while Luis Suarez has made the joint most accurate through balls (10).
- Romelu Lukaku has scored more goals against Liverpool than he has against any other team (4).
Luis Suarez has been in sensational form this season, receiving plaudits from fans and pundits alike.
Not only is the Uruguayan the top Premier League goalscorer with 22 goals, he has also created the fourth most chances in the league (50) and got 5 assists.
Suarez is only one goal short of his total in the Premier League last season and is showing no signs of slowing down in front of goal. He is averaging a goal every 69 minutes this season, which is 59 minutes more often than he was averaging last season and if he continues at this rate he will finish the season with 43 Premier League goals.
The Uruguayan has also improved his conversion rate, with 27% of his chances ending in a goal this season compared to 16% last season. He has equalled his clear cut chance conversion rate from last season (53%), but only 41% of his goals have come from a clear cut chance this season compared to 70% of his goals last season.
As well as his phenomenal record in front of goal, Suarez has also been incredibly creative for Liverpool this season and has created 18% of Liverpool’s overall chances in the Premier League. The forward has created a chance every 31 minutes, which is 2 minutes more often than last season and has already equalled the amount of assists that he got last year.
Suarez has also created 25% of Liverpool’s clear cut chances this season and is creating a clear cut chance every 118 minutes, which is 79 minutes more often than last season.
It goes without saying that Luis Suarez will be Liverpool’s key man against Everton and he will take some stopping, especially if he can continue his excellent partnership with Daniel Sturridge.
Romelu Lukaku will be Everton’s key man for the derby, with the striker causing Liverpool all sorts of problems in recent games.
The Belgian has scored four goals in six games against Liverpool, including two goals in the 3-3 draw in November and has scored more goals against Liverpool than he has against any other team.
Lukaku has scored 9 times so far in the Premier League this season, scoring a goal every 159 minutes for Everton. He has scored a goal 41 minutes less often than he did when on loan at West Brom last season, but has converted 1% more his chances this season (22% -21%) and hit the target with an impressive 63% of his shots.
The on loan Chelsea striker has also given Everton something they have missed in recent seasons – an out and out goalscorer. His 9 goals this season is already more than Jelavic (7) and Anichebe (6) managed in the whole of last season and he only has 2 fewer goals than last seasons top goalscorer Marouane Fellaini (11).
His chance conversion rate of 22% is also a big improvement on what Everton had up front last season, with Jelavic converting 10% of his chances and Anichebe, who only converted 13% of his chances last season.
Liverpool 2-2 Everton
Winner Sports Betting
Liverpool are favourites to win the game at 3/4 with Winner Sports, while you can get the draw at 57/20 and an Everton win at 7/2.
Over 2.5 goal in this game has been priced up at 8/13, while you can also back both teams to score at 8/13.
My prediction for a 2-2 draw can be found at 12/1, while you can also get Luis Suarez at 49/20 or Romelu Lukaku at 7/1 to open the scoring.
Winner Sports are offering a free £25 matched bet when you open a new account.