English Premier League: Merseyside Derby

By DJ Reider @Reider_DJ, Christopher Smith and Joe Brunk

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Now, let’s take a look at this mid-week intense rivalry matchup: Merseyside Derby.

DJ’s matchup history overview and pick:

Liverpool versus Everton.

Since their first meeting back in 1894, Liverpool versus Everton has been an exciting matchup, however, it wasn’t always a rivalry matchup. A long time ago, the fans would sit mixed among each other and just cheer for Merseyside as large families from the area would be split between the two fan wise. It was only since the mid 1980s that the matchup has become more intense and since the inception of the Premier League, it is the matchup that has more red cards than any other game. 

In the matchup history, they’ve met a total of 233 times, with Liverpool taking home 93 victories and the two splitting points in 74, leaving Everton with 66 wins. 

The last time Everton has won the matchup was 20 meet-ups ago, on October 17, 2010, where Everton won 2-0 at home. The other 19 are split between nine Liverpool wins and 10 other draws. The past five meetups were: a 1-1 draw at Anfield on December 10, 2017, a 2-1 Liverpool win on January 5, 2018, a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park on April 7, 2018, a 1-0 Liverpool win at Anfield on December 2, 2018,  and a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park on March 3rd, 2019.

With their next matchup coming Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at Anfield, it should be an exciting matchup. Liverpool is leading the charge through the league, with 37 points from 13 games — 12 wins and 1 draw, 0 losses. They’ve already mounted an 8 point gap over second place — Leicester City — and a 9-point gap over last year’s winner Manchester City.  

Meanwhile, Everton has been struggling, only picking up 14 points from the first 13 games. There have been lots of rumors that Marco Silva, their head coach, is about to get the sack, and there have been a lot of different lineups in the first 13 games, so there is a lot of people involved with the club fighting for different spots with the team. They have the potential to mix it up when there are jobs on the line. 

Despite the record being heavily favored in Liverpool’s direction as of recent times, Everton have been able to steal some draws away and keep the recent losses close games. With the rivalry being intense and emotions running high with everyone involved, anything can happen.

I still give Liverpool the edge in this matchup — I expect them to win in a thrilling viewing that all fans will enjoy. Liverpool just look like an unstoppable freight train who has their eyes set on the target of winning the Premier League, and they won’t let it slip away from them this time. 

Chris’s Picks

Liverpool (-256), Everton (+638) and Draw (+338)

If you’re a fan of soccer, and if you’re reading this now you of course are, then you’ll be tuning into watch the Merseyside Derby on Wednesday afternoon. These two teams hate each other and over the last six matches it has either been a Liverpool win our Everton has been able to draw the match. The last time these two teams met it ended in a draw of 0-0. This game is a little hard for me to handicap as both teams seem to play it close whenever they meet. The total for this match is set at three. Liverpool, in their last 10 matches, are averaging 2.1 goals for and with one goal against. This is in line with what their xG as their xG90 is at 2.09 while their xGA90 is .87. Everton has not fared well this year as they are averaging just one goal a game (last 10 matches) while giving up 1.8. Everton has underperformed from their xG as it is saying they should be scoring 1.52 goals a game while relinquishing 1.32 a game. I see this game going one of two ways. It will either end in Liverpool winning 2-1 or Everton battling to a draw. What I do see is both sides scoring in this match. So my official play for this match is that both teams score. I was able to get it at -126. If you’re able to shop around and get it at a better price please do your due diligence and shop around for the best lines. 

My play: BTTS (-126) *To Win 1 Unit

Joe’s Pick

I agree with what both DJ and Chris said above, Liverpool should find a way to win this game, especially at home. I expect their VAR luck to continue and given their upcoming match congestion, Liverpool can’t afford (even being eight points up) to drop points here in this rivalry game. Everton is coming off a last-minute heartbreaking loss to Leicester and may come out a little discouraged in this game. 

The current line with Liverpool to win is a bit too steep to take straight up. You can’t argue with Chris’s analysis above: Everton has been struggling to score in their Premier league campaign. To add to this, Everton’s offense has not been great away from Goodison Park. Their xG90 is 1.14 in away games, slightly worse than their numbers at home, an xG90 of 1.34. Liverpool’s offense hasn’t been blowing the doors off anyone in their recent matches, and their defense has been great so far this year too. In their last 5 matches, Liverpool has won either 2-1 or 3-1, and I think that trend will continue.

Following the trends and intensity of this rivalry, I really expect this to be a cagey affair where goals will come at a premium. With both defenses playing well so far this season, I think taking Liverpool and Under 4.5 goals at -125 is as good of value as you could get for backing a Liverpool win. Let’s hope this game finishes 2-1 or 3-1 so both Chris and I can cash our bets. 

My play: Liverpool & Under 4.5 goals (-125) *To Win 1 Unit

Note: xG and xG90 are statistics that are newer statistics that try to predict how likely a goal is based on a few factors like the players position when the shot is taken, the footedness of a player, etc. Therefore, the statistics may vary from source to source which can create discrepancy between numbers above.