Jurgen Klopp will have no idea which Everton side is going to turn up against Liverpool tonight.
The Toffees have been buoyed by last week’s shock 2-1 win over Arsenal, but amid the heightened emotion of a Merseyside derby, Ronald Koeman’s men will need to be composed and aggressive in equal measure.
Romelu Lukaku failed to get on the scoresheet against the Gunners, but Everton will still be pinning their hopes on him nonetheless. The Belgian striker’s at 45/1 to score first if Everton also win 2-1, and given Liverpool’s vulnerability from set pieces, there should be plenty of goals.
An even more exciting bet is Lukaku to score, both teams to score, over 2.5 goals, and each team to receive 30+ booking points. It’s only at 10/1, but all four factors seem pretty likely.
The derby’s one of the few games of the season when you can almost guarantee that the referee’s going to have his cards out on quite a few occasions.
The famously volatile fixture has seen more dismissals than any other game since the inception of the Premier League, a total of 21 players being sent off over the years – though one of these was rescinded.
A red card to be shown in the first half is at 9/1, though you’d be better off relying on that outcome in the second half.
An Everton player to be sent off at any time is at 9/2, while for Liverpool, it’s 11/2. The bookies can clearly see the home side getting riled more easily than the visitors, which is understandable given that the last time one of Klopp’s players was sent for an early bath was in March.
The man in question was James Milner, who is among the favourites for the book again. The former England midfielder’s at 13/2 to be shown yellow if Ashley Williams gets himself in the book too.
Milner’s at an interesting double of 12/1 to score and be carded, but it remains to be seen whether he’s employed at left-back as he has been so often this season. It might get him in the book, but he’s unlikely to find the back of the net from there.
Ultimately, Liverpool have to win this to keep the gap at six points behind Chelsea going into Christmas.
For Everton, another three points against a top four side would prove their credentials, but after the weeks they’ve had, a draw seems value for money at 11/4.