Everton need to buck Premier League trend to outdo Liverpool
After Liverpool’s dreadful season by their own high standards, and with rumours aswirl of big names fleeing the sinking Anfield ship, the playing field is surely leveling for Liverpool and Everton.
Many will, of course, be hoping to go back to the glorious old rivalry of the mid-1980s, which saw the then-First Division title pinging back and forth between the sides.
But, more likely, the two teams will be slugging it out nearer the mid-section of the Premier League top ten.
Both teams have finished the season in the top six in three of the last four Premier League campaigns – with the very notable exception of the season just gone, in which Liverpool finished 7th, to Everton’s 8th – so already the gap has been bridged somewhat.
And yet, Premier League history would dictate that Liverpool – even without the likes of Torres (rumoured to be joining Chelsea), Mascherano (Inter), and Steven Gerrard (linked with Real Madrid) – should be able to stay afloat above their Merseyside neighbours.
Only once in the history of the Premier League have Everton ended the season higher than Liverpool – in 2004/05, when they made it to 4th place, with Liverpool trailing in 5th.
But you would have to go back all the way to 1993 to find the last time that Liverpool finished outside the top four in consecutive seasons. Everton have only made the top four once.
Hence, rather understandably, Liverpool are priced at 1/3 to beat their local rivals in the league, but if Everton manage to avoid repeating the shocking start from last season, they could make for an interesting bet at 9/4.
Can Everton win the battle for bragging rights? See the Liverpool vs Everton market.