Reds to come unstuck against Toffees in Merseyside derby

Bill Esdaile
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THE CLICHÉ that football is a game of two halves couldn’t ring any truer for Liverpool fans ahead of a visit to Goodison Park for the Merseyside derby tomorrow lunchtime.

Brendan Rodgers might be presiding over the best Reds start to a Premier League season since 2008, but his side is far from the finished article yet.

The Anfield outfit would be five points clear of the chasing pack if games had finished at half-time this campaign, but they’d lie 14th if only the second 45 counted.

They’ve won none of their 11 league games in which they haven’t scored first and have only struck five goals in the second-half this term.

Liverpool might boast an exceptional recent record versus Everton, losing only one of the last 13, but there are several reasons to think the hosts offer much better value at a best-priced 2/1 with Coral than the 6/4 on their city rivals.

Although Everton lost their manager David Moyes to Manchester United in the summer, they have kept their reputation as a tough side to beat.

The Toffees have suffered only one reverse in their last 11 league outings and have taken 29 points from the last 33 available at home. They also remain the only Premier League side not to have lost a home game in 2013.

Roberto Martinez’s troops haven’t conceded in five and a half hours. As a result, I can see them keeping this tight until the break and then pressing on in search of a winner.

That 2/1 on the home win looks worth backing and I’d sell total goals at 2.65 with Sporting Index.

If the story of Liverpool’s season thus far has been characterised by their failure to sustain their performance levels over 90 minutes, then Manchester City’s has been defined by their absolute failure to take their home form on the road.

City have won all five home games, hitting 20 goals and conceding just two, but outside the Etihad four losses from six matches leaves City languishing in eighth place, six points off the summit.

Manuel Pellegrini doesn’t have to worry about that this Sunday, though, as his men host a Tottenham side yet to really get going.

Only two teams have hit less goals than the nine Spurs have managed so far and those clubs, Sunderland and Crystal Palace, occupy the bottom two places in the table. It’s a big concern for Andre Villas-Boas, especially with only six of those strikes coming from open play.

Spurs will arrive at the Etihad having failed to hit the net in their last two outings. City have shown in comfortably beating Manchester United, Everton and, most recently, in the 7-0 demolition of Norwich, that they take no prisoners on home turf.

The bookies are right to have the hosts odds-on at 4/6 and, while that’s a fair price, I’m more interested in the City HT/FT result at 6/4 with Coral.

Sergio Aguero has hit 13 goals in 14 club appearances this season and expect him to help lead City to a comfortable win and show Villas-Boas exactly what he’s been missing up front. The Argentinean is 4/1 to score first.

Everton to beat Liverpool at 2/1 with Coral
Sell total goals at 2.65 with Sporting Index (Everton v Liverpool)
Manchester City HF/FT at 6/4 with Coral