The next edition of the famous Merseyside derby will be taking place at Wembley Stadium in London on Apr. 14 when Liverpool and Everton line up against each other in an FA Cup semi final match. While all derby games between these two clubs is huge, the outcome of this one will see the winner heading back to Wembley on May 5 to take on either Chelsea or Tottenham in the Cup Final.
Liverpool has won the Carling Cup already this season by beating Cardiff in a penalty shootout. Strangely enough, they could do a cup double and still end up having a horrible season due to their poor performances in the English Premier League. These two teams have played each other a total of 217 times in the past with Liverpool winning 87 games and drawing 64 while Everton has managed to pull off 66 victories.
Two of the most important players could end up being a pair who has never played in a Liverpool derby before. These are Everton striker Nikica Jelavic of Croatia and Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones of Australia. Jones, who is basically the team’s third-choice keeper, will be between the posts since both Alexander Doni and Pepe Reina are suspended due to recent red cards the goalies picked up. It’s believed that Peter Gulacsi will be dressed as the substitute keeper. Jelavic was signed from Scottish giants Rangers in the January transfer window and has scored four goals so far in eight league games as well as adding one against Sunderland in an FA Cup contest.
Liverpool’s American ownership realizes the club has been slipping and wasting a lot of money at the same time. They sacked Damien Comoli, the team’s director of football on Thursday because of the unimpressive signings the club’s made since he came in. These include splashing out 35 million pounds for Andy Carroll, and bringing in Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson, and Charlie Adam. However, manager Kenny Dalglish said some of these were his signings.
Liverpool hadn’t won in four games before beating Blackburn 3-2 last weekend while Everton has managed four wins and a draw in their last five games and now sits in seventh place in the EPL table with 47 points while Liverpool is one spot and one point below them in eighth place. These teams have met in several cup semi-finals before with Liverpool winning the last three. However, Everton has reached the FA Cup Final the last six times they’ve made it as far as the semis.
Predictions and Odds
Neither of these managers, Dalglish, and Everton’s David Moyes, have much of a creative imagination when it comes to football. But Liverpool has had a hold on Everton lately. Look for them to win in a bit of a disappointing game and advance to the Cup Final.
As far as injuries go, Martin Kelly should be back in the Liverpool squad and he should be joined by right-back Glen Johnson. Midfielder Lucas Leiva of Brazil is still out with a long-term injury and Charlie Adam is likely to miss the game with a knee injury. For Everton, Jack Rodwell will probably miss the match and Steven Pienaar is cup tied since he played in the FA Cup for Spurs earlier in the season.
According to the latest release by sportsbook William Hill, the odds of Liverpool winning the game are 6/4 with an Everton victory at 2/1 and a 90-minute draw at 2-1. Get free bets through the banners on the right.