Live: Liverpool v Everton
Saturday 12:30 (ESPN)
The first of two mouth-watering FA Cup semi finals gets underway as Liverpool renew their bid for a cup double against Merseyside rivals Everton. A point is all that separates the pair in the league though the Reds start favourites despite David Moyes’ in-form side holding the upper hand in the table ahead of the trip to Wembley.
- Liverpool head to Wembley for the second time this season fresh from ending their four-game winless run in the league with a last-minute victory in midweek at Blackburn. Their four wins in the FA Cup have all come at Anfield, beating Premier League opposition in the shape of Manchester United and Stoke, both 2-1, en route to the last four.
- Everton travel to the capital in fine fickle after notching a third victory in four games in style, firing four past quarter-final victims Sunderland at the weekend. Like the Reds, David’s Moyes’ men have enjoyed home advantage each time to get this far but needed a replay to edge past the Black Cats in the last round.
- Liverpool have enjoyed the better of recent Merseyside derbies, losing just once in their last 11 meetings after completing a league double over the Toffees this term with an aggregate 5-0 victory. Everton triumphed the last time the sides met in the FA Cup, though, prevailing after extra-time in their fourth round replay three seasons ago.
Everton to reach the final at 23/20
- Nine of Liverpool’s 11 games in cup competition this term have produced over 2.5 goals, including all four in the FA Cup. Six of their last eight away from Anfield in the league have gone the same way while two of the previous three ended over 4.5 goals.
- Prior to Everton’s previous two outings, which both ended over 3.5 goals, their last five in league and cup had produced under 2.5 goals. The Toffees’ previous 12 away from home in all competitions have all finished in similar fashion.
Under 2.5 goals at 3/4
- Despite their barren run in the league, Liverpool have only failed to score twice in their last seven in the league on the road while the Reds have netted exactly two in ten of their away outings in all competitions, winning 2-0 in half. They haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last six games in league and cup, leaking exactly two goals in three.
- Before February, Everton had only managed one goal or less in all but six of their league outings this term but the Toffees have scored exactly two in three of their last four as well as four of their five outings in the FA Cup, winning 2-0 in three. Their last eight wins in the top flight have all been secured with a clean sheet, prevailing 1-0 in half.
Everton to win 1-0 at 17/2
- The only two times Liverpool have been behind at the break in cup competition this term have been away from Anfield, including the Carling Cup final, but Kenny Dalglish’s men have led 2-1 at half-time en route to victory in two of their four FA Cup outings. The Reds have lost on all four occasions they have trailed at half-time on their travels.
- Three of Everton’s four wins in the FA Cup have been secured from half-time leads though the scores have been goalless at the break in all but one of their five away league victories. Only the top three have a better second-half record than the Toffees, who are unbeaten after the interval in their last seven in league and cup.
Everton/Everton double result at 9/2
- Luis Suarez is Liverpool’s leading marksman with 13, four of which have come in cup competition, and boasts three goals in his last five appearances. Steven Gerrard bagged all three in the Reds’ last meeting with their Merseyside rivals in April while Dirk Kuyt, who was on the scoresheet on their last trip to Wembley, has also registered in three of his last five outings against Everton.
- Victor Anichebe sneaked ahead in Everton’s scoring stakes with six in league and cup after two goals in his last three in the Premier League. Leighton Baines and Nikica Jelavic, who has opened the scoring for the Toffees in each of their last two trips away from Goodison Park, boast five apiece.
- Steven Gerrard should be well rested after sitting out the trip to Ewood Park and has proven Liverpool’s man for the big occasion so often over the years. The Reds’ talismanic captain has already lifted a trophy once at Wembley this term, helping his side’s cause with goals in both legs of their Carling Cup semi final, while Gerrard was the sole difference the last time Liverpool came out on top over their near neighbours.
- David Moyes has proved astute once again with his transfer dealings and his January additions have breathed fresh life into Everton’s season, none more so than Nikica Jelavic. The Croatian has been instrumental in the Toffees’ rise, filling the gap in attack where they have craved an out-and-out goalscorer, netting four goals in as many games.
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