Saturday, January 24, 2009

Match Preview - Liverpool vs Everton (Part 2)

By: Gareth Freeman

Well Monday night was a bit disappointing wasn’t it? I’m not buying into all of the talk about Rafa and Alex Ferguson’s war of words and Liverpool’s title bid being derailed just yet but it is a bit of a worry. Tim Cahill popping up to head in unmarked with three minutes to go was not good too see. A lack of concentration from a set piece really cost Liverpool that day, but winning the league is still very much a possibility.

Next up the Reds get a chance to get a bit of revenge over Everton in the FA Cup. I don’t think Benitez will play his best XI to be honest, he’ll want too concentrate on the league and quite rightly. It could be a chance for Lucas and Ryan Babel to start and show what they can do and Yossi Benayoun may also be included in the starting line-up. Dirk Kuyt has spoken of the players desire to win this one and there have been some positive signs coming out of Anfield but it all depends on how strong a side Rafa fields on the day. A win in the second Mersey derby would boost confidence but I bet Rafa would sacrifice the cup for the league any time.

Everton on the other hand probably will start with their best XI. They’re in a position in the league where they won’t be worried about relegation but at the same time European qualification is all they can really achieve, I doubt they’ll make the top-four and the FA Cup represents their only real chance for silverware this season. The major bonus for Liverpool in this one is the fact Marouane Fellaini is still suspended. I’ve been really impressed by Fellaini and even more impressed by his hair, he has been one of Everton’s best players this season and Liverpool should be buoyed by his absence.

Offering football betting tips on this particular Mersey derby is a big call and I’m going to leave it well alone. I wouldn’t really bother having a flutter myself until I’ve seen the starting line ups and I know who’ll be playing. I’m going to reserve my football betting advice for the other FA Cup games. I think Wolverhampton Wanderers could beat Middlesbrough and cause a minor upset, Coventry will be too strong for non-league Torquay and if you fancy a real cup upset I wouldn’t bet against Hartlepool knocking out West Ham and claiming their third Premier League scalp of the season.

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