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Wednesday 8.15pm: Everton v Liverpool
Everton took four points off Liverpool last season, but the chances of them repeating the feat this time round are extremely slim, with their cross-town rivals looking close to the level they reached between 2018 and 2020.
Everton, on the other hand, have somehow managed to regress even further following a dismal end to their campaign last season and have now failed to win their last seven league games, picking up just two points in the process.
Rafa Benitez’s side have conceded 13 goals across that seven-game spell and now face the rampant Reds who have scored two goals or more in all 10 of their away games to date this season.
Liverpool should run riot against a Toffees defence that has conceded 20 goals in 13 league games so far this year.
Jurgen Klopp’s team lost their most recent Premier League away game in a thrilling 3-2 defeat at West Ham but won 5-0 in successive trips to Watford and Manchester United prior to that. They come into the Merseyside Derby off the back of successive 4-0 wins at Anfield and should have far too much for their out-of-form neighbours.
Liverpool may have welcomed back Virgil Van Dijk at the start of the season, but they don’t look nearly as watertight at the back as they did between 2018 and 2020. The Reds have leaked three goals against both Brentford and West Ham already this season and have conceded far more goals than their Premier League title rivals.
For context, they conceded three or more goals in a single Premier League game on just three occasions between 2018 and 2020 when they conquered both Europe and England.
They have conceded two or more goals on six occasions in all competitions and still look to struggle with some of the defensive issues that plagued their campaign last season in the absence of Van Dijk.
For all of their awful form, Everton still average more than one goal a game in the league and are capable of finding some joy against an unconvincing Liverpool defence.
You can take your pick with Liverpool goalscorers at the moment, with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Diogo Jota all currently ranking among the four top-scorers in the Premier League.
Salah currently leads the way with 11 goals in 13 games, while Jota and Mane are in joint-third on seven apiece.
There is a caveat, however.
Jota has played far fewer minutes than either Mane or Salah and boasts the best conversion rate of the three.
He has been given an extended run in the team in the absence of Roberto Firmino and has subsequently rediscovered his goalscoring touch, scoring three goals in his last two league outings.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see him continue his excellent form against a floundering Everton on Wednesday night.
Mo Salah has never been shy of taking on a shot, but he seems even more willing to do so this season. The Egyptian has attempted 48 shots – nine more than any other player – and found the target with 26 of them – 10 more than any other player.
He averages exactly two shots on target per game in the league and should comfortably reach that target against an Everton side that has faced 163 shots in 13 games at a rate of more than 12 per game. Liverpool, meanwhile, have attempted more shots than any other team in the Premier League this season with Salah chief amongst those trying their luck. With Liverpool set to dominate the Merseyside Derby, don’t be surprised to see him double his average on Wednesday.
Everton v Liverpool tips
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