Merseyside Derby: Can Everton End Their Liverpool Hoodoo?
The Merseyside Derby, which takes place on Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. ET, is one of the most storied rivalries in England. In recent years the matchup has become decidedly one sided, as Liverpool (-118) have climbed back into the upper echelons of the Premier League and Everton (+320) have remained mired in the middle of the table. The teams are no longer really competing with each other in the standings. Liverpool are now a perennial top four challenger while Everton consistently compete for the Europa League spots in a good season. That said, Everton will be welcoming their crosstown rivals to Goodison this weekend at an awkward time for Liverpool. Sandwiched between the Champions League quarterfinals, Everton can at least hope that Liverpool’s focus will be divided, giving them a chance to sneak out a result.
Jurgen Klopp faces a difficult challenge when it comes to team selection. Everton have largely been an uninspiring midtable team at best this season. Coming off an emotional and draining 3-0 victory in the Champions League quarterfinals against Manchester City on Wednesday, and with a second leg looming on Tuesday, this would usually be an opportune time to heavily rotate the team. Liverpool shouldn’t need their best lineup to beat Everton, and even if they were to drop points, they’d remain safely in a top-four spot. They currently sit in third, 10 points ahead of fifth-place Chelsea, although Chelsea do have a game in hand.