Liverpool are beginning to dance to Jurgen Klopp’s beat as the season nears its conclusion and that’s an ominous sign for a floundering Everton side ahead of the German’s first Merseyside derby.
How different the backdrop between the two all-Merseyside clashes on the 2015/16 Premier League schedule.
Back at the start of October Liverpool had only won a single game in eight under then manager Brendan Rodgers, leading to a swirl of speculation that the Northern Irishman’s goose was cooked regardless of the result at Goodison Park.
By contrast, arguably the most gifted Everton squad of the Premier League era were fifth in an early version of the table, having picked up seven of the last nine available points – giving rise to plenty of top-four chatter.
Roberto Martinez’s men had righty earned the unusual Merseyside derby tag of favourites for the game and Goodison waited expectantly.
However, the Reds rallied for Rodgers and earned a 1-1 draw (albeit the result didn’t save his job) and a gilt-edged opportunity to banish an 11-game winless streak against their local rivals was lost for Everton.
Fast-forward to the present day and it’s the Toffees boss under mounting pressure, as his side languish in 11th, last taking three points seven games ago, and even then, that victory came against now-relegated Aston Villa.
Across Stanley Park, Klopp’s Reds are still buzzing off the euphoria of reaching the Europa League last four courtesy of an historic comeback, sandwiched between Premier League victories over Stoke and Bournemouth.
This opposing form and long pattern of Everton failing to earn bragging rights at Anfield – they last did that during the 1999/2000 Premier League campaign – have restored normal service in the match odds market.
Liverpool are the 13/20 favourites, a fourth Merseyside draw in succession is 14/5 and the Everton win is the 4/1 outsider.
Martinez is doing a good impression of Rodgers back in the autumn and with Daniel Sturridge in such fine goal-scoring touch, he could be the harbinger of the Spaniard’s Everton doom.
The England international’s deadlock-breaking strike against Bournemouth last time made it six goals in his last seven starts; he is 7/2 to open the scoring at Anfield and it’s 13/8 he nets as part of a home win.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.