Liverpool vs Everton preview, betting tips and predictions: Reds to spoil Allardyce's derby debut

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Liverpool to win both halves @ 9/5 with Paddy Power 

Liverpool to win 3-1 @ 9/1 with Paddy Power

Liverpool to win and BTTS @ 6/4 with Paddy Power

Liverpool and Everton reignite their city rivalry on Sunday in a Premier League fixture that is vital at both ends of the table. Although back to back wins and clean sheets have driven them right up the Premier League table, they are still looking to climb away from the sharp end of the relegation battle. Sam Allardyce’s record is perfect for that job brief, but local bragging rights are central to Sunday’s preparations. Jurgen Klopp’s men have really found their feet after a shaky spell; the Reds have scored 19 goals in just six games and are in great form at home, too.

Mohamed Salah has been the star of their show, but as the win over Brighton proved, they have so many other options to choose from. The Egyptian is the league’s top scorer with 12 goals and has more in any season in all competitions than any Liverpool player for three years. But he didn’t score at the Amex Stadium, while last season’s talisman Sadio Mane was an unused substitute.

Allardyce will have the Toffees organised, but the lack of pace at the back for Everton is something he can’t legislate for. That will only encourage the hosts to push on more. We are backing a home win in this one.

Form

Nobody knows what they are going to get from Liverpool on a weekly basis. Going forward, as already mentioned, they are among the best in England and possibly beyond, but they are always susceptible to defensive errors, with Dejan Lovren and Alberto Moreno common culprits this season. Their great form may not be enough to rekindle any title challenge, but they are well placed in the race for the Champions League as they approach the halfway point of the season, losing not lost since the embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Spurs at Wembley in late October.

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It is hard to discuss Everton’s form because it has spanned two different managers. Just a couple of weeks ago, under David Unsworth the caretaker boss, the alarm bells were ringing after a 4-1 defeat at Southampton. But beating West Ham 4-0, with Allardyce in the stands, and Huddersfield 2-0 at the weekend has reinvigorated their season already. Wayne Rooney has got his mojo back ahead of his first Merseyside Derby since his return from Manchester United, having netted a hattrick against the Hammers last week.

Team News

Joel Matip is doubtful for the game after picking up a knock in the recent win over Stoke. He sat out the Brighton game, in which Gini Wijnaldum and Emre Can played in a back three alongside Lovren, and also missed the clash with Spartak Moscow in the Champions League. Adam Lallana won’t be fit in time either, but there is a good chance Sadio Mane will return to the fold.

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Everton have no fresh injuries to contend with, though the likes of Ramiro Funes Mori and Ross Barkley are on the long-term absentee list.

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