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Merseyside derby betting: Everton could compound Liverpool’s misery and end their Anfield curse


Merseyside derby betting: Everton could compound Liverpool’s misery and end their Anfield curse

Everton to party like it's 1999? It's possible!

IF Liverpool supporters believe their club to be in crisis – which it is – then what happens if the Reds lose at home to Everton on Saturday for the first time in this fixture since 1999?

Where do they go from there? What sense or consolation can be mined from seeing their recently indomitable team first stripped of their superpowers, then left shivering and ordinary on the fringes of the top six? Among the hoi polloi only in much worse form.

That it might be Everton who leaves them in such a state is of course of interest. After all, the Toffees last won a derby a little over a decade ago and last won at Anfield in a previous century. But so dramatic has Liverpool’s decline been, and so grave is their circumstances right now, that the prospect of another defeat transcends even local bragging rights and the fact that an Everton victory brings the fractious neighbours level in the table. It reduces a derby, with all its subplots and ferocity, to a sidebar.

Because what is really at stake this weekend – and apologies in advance for the hyperbolic language but this is where we are presently – is a legacy. A legacy in danger of being forever tainted.

The visitors are 11/2 to beat their red rivals and end their Anfield curse

Should it run a full course, there are five stages to a footballing crisis with shock and denial the first to be encountered. 

This is what Liverpool experienced when unexpectedly finding themselves downed by Burnley at the end of January; a defeat that put the previous three draws and bloodless loss at Southampton into sharp context. It was a relinquishing of a proud unbeaten record at home that stretched back 68 games and rightly much was made of it.

Yet, accompanying all the doom and gloom was a tacit acknowledgment that so much was being made of it precisely because this was brilliant, relentless, and almost always imperious Liverpool enduring a blip because with all due respect, who would bat an eye if Wolves or West Ham picked up just three points from a possible 15?

Only this was Klopp’s ‘Mentality Monsters’ so it was novel, this was a talking point to put it mildly but balancing this out even great sides stumble, don’t they? Even fearsome and prolific attacking trios fail to find the net for a few games here and there.

Denial was in abundance.

The reigning champions have failed to get off the mark in five of their last nine games. The 11/10 available for only one or neither team to score jumps out as good value.

The next stage – that of outright pain - arrived when Brighton players high-fived their way off the Anfield turf celebrating a 1-0 win. The week prior Liverpool had responded to their critics with consecutive triumphs in the capital but this was a startling reality check; this was confirmation that something was very wrong indeed. We will skip past this part. We’ve all been there and it isn’t very pleasant.

The subsequent 4-1 dismantling at the hands of Manchester City and a revealing collapse at Leicester six days later have brought Liverpool supporters to stage three of their turmoil: anger and bargaining. The anger has largely been aimed at Alisson for some uncharacteristic mishaps and this is understandable if a touch unhelpful. Elsewhere, a minority of fans have called for the manager’s head. This is lunacy, plain and simple.

As for the bargaining it has taken many forms with one example found in plentiful supply on Twitter, typed out for any passing deity who might see their plea that top four will now be taken gladly. In addition to this are the reasons given, doled out by the fans and media alike, to explain away Liverpool’s woes.

They have been without their three principle centre-backs for some considerable time, one of whom happens to be arguably the finest defender in the world. They have unduly suffered with the absence of fans in stadia. And after two years of constant and intense magnificence the players are shattered and lacking.

All of these reasons are valid. All have substance. Yet still a football crisis has no mercy and bluntly these grounds for leniency are not going to be resolved anytime soon. The games meanwhile keep on coming thick and fast.

Starting at Anfield against a historical rival Liverpool have long enjoyed lording it over. Everton go into the clash in erratic form yet boasting the fourth best away record in the Premier League and they will fancy their chances here against a side who have scored a goal every 100 minutes across the last ten games compared to every 36 minutes in the ten matches before. Their opponents have the worst defensive record in the top ten and furthermore have a keeper shorn of all confidence. They have lost three on the bounce at Anfield for the first time since 1963 and talk is escalating that this might ultimately dissolve into the worst title defence for a generation.

Frankly, the Toffees will never have a better chance to end their derby curse.

Defenders have form for scoring in this contest. With Everton having thundered home more headers than anyone else this term 12/1 is a decent price for Yerry Mina to score anytime.

 

 

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