Sat, Sep 27, 10:46am by Mike Randall
Neither side has set the league on fire so far this season, but that doesn’t tend to matter when the cross town rivals hit the park, similar to the North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham in the early hours of Sunday morning.
BetEasy’s Rob Cumbrae-Stewart told AustralianGambling.com.au that there had already been big bets on the Premier League this weekend.
“We have Liverpool as favourites – $1.88 to beat Everton $4.05 – in the first EPL match of the weekend,” Cumbrae-Stewart said.
“(Liverpool striker Daniel) Sturridge is the favoured man to put the ball in the back of the net – he is currently at $4.90 – but there has been some smart money for the Italian Stallion (Liverpool’s newly signed import Mario) Balotelli at $5.40.”
He said the North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham was the other best backed match of the round with the AustralianGambling.com.au recommended bookie.
“Currently we have Arsenal on top at $1.76, versus Tottenham at $4.55,” he said.
“(Tottenham’s Emmanuel) Adebayor has scored the most goals in North London derby history (eight for Arsenal, two for Spurs) and he is currently priced at $7 to score a hat trick on the day.”
Saturday, September 27, 9.35pm, Fox Sports 2
No one tipped these two sides to be anywhere near the bottom half after five matches, but that’s exactly where both find themselves after poor starts to the season.
Liverpool (11th, two wins, three losses), just hasn’t been able to kick into gear, despite a, well, `sterling’ start from brilliant young midfielder Raheem Sterling.
Everton (14th, one win, two draws, three losses) can’t stop scoring, but it also can’t stop other teams from scoring.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hopes his side can put its poor start behind it on Saturday.
“It provides a platform to go on a good, consistent run,” Rodgers said.
“Last season, we had a great spell after our win (in January).
“Everton are a good side, with very good players.
“They’re different to us, but they’ve got a lot of quality. They’ve probably not got the results they’ve wanted, but … being a derby game, it will be tough for us.”
Liverpool whacked the Toffees, 4-0, at Anfield last season, and Everton coach Roberto Martinez won’t want a repeat of that. He thinks both sides’ slow starts can be attributed to personnel changes.
“Every team changes when you change personnel,” he said.
“It’s early in the season and it’s about adapting and having different players and new ways of playing, because obviously Luis Suarez was very significant (for Liverpool).
“The game is going to be exciting. This one is building up to being a very good game. It’s only three points, but three points that are very, very important for both sides.”
For Liverpool, it has several dramas on the injury front, with Daniel Sturridge, Joe Allen, Glen Johnson, Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho all battling ailments.
At Everton, clouds remain over Steven Pienaar and Seamus Coleman, but Bryan Oviedo is back in action after recovering from a broken leg in January.
Arouna Kone has overcome his knee issue and will be a chance at Anfield.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-2 ($16 with Beteasy.com.au)
Give the home ground advantage to the Reds.
Liverpool has lost only one of its past 15 Merseyside derbies and that is a damning statistic for Everton.
We reckon the Kop will just give Liverpool the edge in a tight, high scoring affair.
Everton games have featured an average of nearly five goals a match, with 24 struck for the season between them and the opposition.
Even though the Toffees have scored only five goals in their last 12 matches at Anfield, Liverpool has only managed to keep just one clean sheet in its last 11 games.
With that in mind, we like the over two goals at $1.61 with Beteasy.com.au – both sides possess talented attackers, but less than satisfactory defensive units.
First goal scorer tips
Liverpool – Raheem Sterling ($6.60 with Beteasy.com.au)
Sturridge may miss with a hamstring complaint and Balotelli is taking his time to settle in, so we’ll take the in form man, Raheem Sterling. Has six goals in his last 10 league appearances, including three this season – good enough for equal third in the league. Scored an absolute cracker last week, even though his side lost, and we’d like him to see him continue that strong form.
Everton – Romelu Lukaku ($6.60 with Beteasy.com.au)
The big Belgian has two from five, but just hasn’t yet reached the dizzying heights many expected. Just 21, 190 centimetres and 94 kg, Lukaku is a raging bull up front and the Everton midfield should be looking to find him early. Both his goals have come in the second half this season, but we want to see him fire from the start and send one in early.
Sunday, September 28, 2.20am, Fox Sports 2
Arsenal leapt back onto the winners’ list and into the top four last week and will be delighted Tottenham got rolled by bottom side West Bromwich Albion at White Hart Lane.
The Gunners (undefeated in fourth with two wins and three draws) tore up Aston Villa, 3-0, smashing in all three of their goals in a four minute burst in the first half.
Tottenham (ninth, two wins, one draw, two losses) failed miserably in its clash with Albion, struggling to get anything going up forward, before conceding a solitary goal, off the head of James Morrison.
You just get the feeling the Gunners are primed for a big run here, especially after holding on for a point against City and then winning last week. They dropped midweek in the Capitol One Cup, but manager Arsene Wenger will be focussed on the Premier League and trying to provide Chelsea with a challenge.
One thing Spurs do have going for them is that new manager Mauricio Pochettino isn’t tainted by the history of Arsenal finishing above, and consistently beating the men in white.
The Lilywhites have only finished above their bitter rivals twice in the Premier League era, but Pochettino wants to change that.
“We arrived three months ago and we need to make our way, but we are focused on the game and know the history,” Pochettino said.
“But it is also important to write the history, starting now.
“This is a big game, a tough game, I know. It is always an important game. We need to prepare for the game, to have a good performance and be aggressive.”
Wenger said his side had a tough block of games, starting with Tottenham this week.
“Our start has been decent, but we enter the second block of games now, which will be crucial,” Wenger said.
“North London derbies are always very intense and the players from both sides know each other so well.
“It’s too early to judge a team but Tottenham will benefit from the stability they will have this season.”
Tottenham has almost a clean bill of health, full back Kyle Walker the main casualty, while the Gunners welcome back Mathieu Flamini and Per Mertesacker.
They, as is often the case, have an injury tale of woe, with Theo Walcot, Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Debuchy, Yaya Sanogo and Nacho Monreal all suffering long term ailments.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 ($9.80 with Beteasy.com.au)
Whether their form is good, bad or indifferent, the Gunners love playing Tottenham.
And the stats don’t lie:
– Arsenal has won four of its last five against Tottenham.
– Tottenham has won just once at Arsenal in its last 21 away matches.
– Arsenal last failed to score at home to Spurs in November 1998 and has scored 38 times in 15 games since.
Damning figures for Spurs fans, enough to make any Gunner smile. Bet with confidence at the $1.76.
First goal scorer tips
Arsenal – Alexis Sanchez ($5.60 with Beteasy.com.au)
You could probably raffle this one. Sanchez, Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere are all in goal scoring form, but the Chilean netted an absolute stunner for the Gunners in their mid week loss to Southampton and seems to be getting an appetite for English goals.
Tottenham – Emmanuel Adebayor ($7.40 with Beteasy.com.au)
Emmanuel Adebayor has scored more goals than any other player in North London derby history – eight for Arsenal and two for Spurs. He just loves this fixture. For all the knocks on him, he is an imposing force and still Tottenham’s best avenue to goal.
Crystal Palace ($2.60) Draw ($3.15) Leicester City ($2.78)
Sunderland ($2.80) Draw ($3.20) Swansea City ($2.56)
Hull City ($6.20) Draw ($4.05) Manchester City ($1.53)
Manchester United ($1.37) Draw ($5.10) West Ham United ($7.40)
Chelsea ($1.20) Draw ($6.60) Aston Villa ($13)
Southampton ($1.44) Draw ($4.40) Queens Park Rangers ($7.20)
West Bromwich Albion ($2) Draw ($3.30) Burnley ($3.85)
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