Premier League Preview and Prediction: Everton vs Liverpool

Competition: Premier League – Everton vs. Liverpool 

Venue: Goodison Park – Sunday, October 4 – 13:30 BST (08:30 ET)

Match Odds: Everton 13/8 – Draw 23/10 – Liverpool 13/8

Match Preview 

Everton host bitter rivals Liverpool in the Merseyside derby and one of the standout fixtures this weekend in the Premier League.

The Toffees come into this one off the back of their stunning 3-2 comeback against West Bromwich Albion where they were 2-0 down.

Roberto Martinez’s side are one point outside the Champions League places and although early on in the season that will be on their mind. This is a great chance to send out a message to the clubs around them in the table.

Everton have been slightly inconsistent so far this season, but have proved they are fearing nobody and will be pumped up ahead of this tie. This is the first of three tough upcoming fixtures for the home side which will see them play Manchester United and Arsenal in their next two games. It is important that they take something away from this fixture.

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Liverpool sit 9th in the Premier League and their Europa League clash on Thursday night has only intensified the pressure on manager Brendan Rodgers.

They have struggled in front of goal so far this season, only netting seven times, and this is a must win game.

Daniel Sturridge marked his return with a brace last weekend and his performance will have lifted the camp and the fans, but they cannot rely on their talisman to provide alone.

Liverpool come into this one off the back of their 3-2 win against Aston Villa, where they suffered a scare having lead 3-0. Their defensive frailties are all too apparent and they cannot afford to give this strong Everton side any indication of their weaknesses otherwise they risk being picked apart.

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Team News  

Everton’s injury woes continue with seven players expected to miss out. Leighton Baines is out until November with his ankle injury. Seamus Coleman, Jon Stones and Muhamed Besic are doubts but could feature. Tom Cleverley, Tony Hibbert and Steven Pienaar remain sidelined.

Liverpool have five players out for this one as Roberto Firmino, Christian Benteke, Jordan Henderson, Jon Flanagan and Dejan Lovren are sidelined. Daniel Sturridge will expect to lead the line.

Key Points 

Everton’s form: L/D/W/D/W

Liverpool’s form: D/L/L/D/W

Key Stat: Everton have only won one of the last between the sides at Goodison, the last three have all ended in draws.

Key Player: Romelu Lukaku – The Everton powerhouse had an incredible second half the comeback against West Brom, his performance saw him named man-of-the-match and the Toffees will be praying he can deliver once again.

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Score Prediction

Everton 2-2 Liverpool – The sides to draw in this fixture yet again. A typically high-paced, entertaining Merseyside derby.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Liverpool

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal FC vs. Liverpool FC

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Monday, August 24 – 20:00 BST (15:00 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 7/10 – Draw 3/1 – Liverpool 18/5

Match Preview

Arsenal vs Liverpool. It’s always a huge fixture on the Premier League calendar and this one comes very early in the season as the two meet at the Emirates on Monday night.

Both sides have failed to set the world on fire in their opening two games but have got some vital points on the board nonetheless. Arsenal responded to their opening loss to West Ham with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace last Sunday and will now look for a first home win of the campaign.

Arsene Wenger is under pressure to bring a new striker in before the transfer window closes but will be focusing on on-the-field matters ahead of this one.

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The Gunners have shipped four goals in two games and need to make sure they tighten up at the back if they are to build on last year’s third place finish.

Liverpool have opened the season with back-to-back 1-0 wins over Stoke and Bournemouth but have yet to really impress.

Six points from six is still a great start and if they can step up a gear, they could walk away from London with three more on Monday night.

Brendan Rodgers has a whole host of new signings at the club and he will be delighted with the fact Christian Benteke opened his account in a Reds shirt in the win over Bournemouth on Monday.

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Arsenal beat Liverpool 4-1 in the most recent meeting between the two at the Emirates after they played out a 2-2 draw at Anfield last season.

The last time Liverpool won at Arsenal was in August 2011 and they will hope that another early season clash can deliver the same rewards.

Team News

Arsenal are likely to name an unchanged side from the one that beat Crystal Palace last Sunday. Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck remain out through injury. Olivier Giroud should keep his place up front with Hector Bellerin keeping his right-back berth ahead of Mathieu Debuchy.

Liverpool’s main concern regards the fitness of Jordan Henderson as he limped off in Monday’s win over Bournemouth. If he is unable to play, Roberto Firmino may push for a first league start, though his fitness is still questionable. Daniel Sturridge, Joe Allen and Jon Flanagan are all still sidelined.

Key Points

Arsenal’s form: L/W

Liverpool’s form: W/W

Key Stat: There has not been a 0-0 draw between these two sides since January 1999.

Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – The Chilean star started at Crystal Palace last week after coming on as a sub in the opening loss to West Ham. This will be his first home start of the campaign and he can be expected to be a constant threat.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool – Expecting a very tight contest between two sides who have yet to hit the kind of form they will want to this year. This is always a huge fixture but it has perhaps come too early and so the goals might not fly in like they did last year. Arsenal to edge it by one goal.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Liverpool vs Bournemouth

Competition: Premier League – Liverpool vs. Bournemouth 

Venue: Anfield – Monday, August 17 – 20:00 BST (15:00 ET)

Match Odds: Liverpool 4/9 – Draw 100/30 – Bournemouth 6/1

Match Preview

Liverpool welcome Premier League newboys AFC Bournemouth to Anfield on Monday night as the Reds fans will get their first look at their side without Steven Gerrard leading the team out for the opening league game.

After a summer overhaul that saw Gerrard and Raheem Sterling leave the club, Brendan Rodgers has taken steps to refresh the squad with new talent. The likes of Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke have added threat to a new look Liverpool attack as they look to break back into the top four after a disappointing campaign.

It’s a case of trying to rebuild whilst still aiming high for Liverpool. And after losing your captain and club legend Gerrard, it will be extremely difficult to do so.

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They won 1-0 at Stoke last weekend, gaining revenge from that 6-1 thrashing at the end of last season, but they were far from convincing and need to use Monday night’s game as a platform to impress.

The same can be said for Bournemouth, who will want to prove they deserve to be in the top flight after an impressive display in the Championship last term.

They lost 1-0 at home to Aston Villa last week but created plenty of chances and will look to relish the occasion of playing at Anfield here.

Eddie Howe has certain philosophy he has imprinted on the south coast but their positive style football must also bring points as they look to extend their stay in the top flight past the end of the season.

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This will be the first ever league meeting between the two, though they have met twice in less than two years, with Liverpool winning a League Cup and an FA Cup game against the Cherries, both away from Anfield.

Team News

Liverpool will be without Jon Flanagan and Daniel Sturridge who remain long-term absentees. Joe Allen is a doubt after sustaining an injury in preseason. Roberto Firmino will hope to start behind Christian Benteke up top.

Bournemouth have Christian Atsu and Shaun MacDonald as doubts but Atsu should play some part. Harry Arter is expected to miss Monday’s game after missing most of preseason.

Key Points

Liverpool’s form: W

Bournemouth’s form: L

Key Stat: Monday night will be the first time the two sides have met in the Football League.

Key Player: Christian Benteke – New Liverpool striker Benteke will want to open his Reds account after drawing a blank against Stoke last weekend and will look to impress on his home debut.

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Score Prediction

Liverpool 2-0 Bournemouth – Liverpool looked average at best last weekend but should have enough to win comfortably at home in what could be a tight game. Bournemouth’s free-flowing style of play could cause the Reds problems but it may be too tough a test for Eddie Howe’s men to pass this early on in the season.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Stoke vs Liverpool

Competition: Premier League – Stoke City vs. Liverpool

Venue: Britannia Stadium – Sunday, August 9 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Stoke 12/5 – Draw 12/5 – Liverpool 6/5

Match Preview

Stoke host Liverpool on Sunday afternoon in their 2015/16 Premier League season opener in what will be a repeat of their final game of the 2014/15 season, in which Stoke stunned Liverpool 6-1 at the Britannia.

That game ensured the Reds ended a disappointing season in disastrous fashion, while the Potters went into the summer in high spirits after a promising campaign.

Mark Hughes has had another impressive summer as far as transfer dealings are concerned and Stoke look to have strengthened, even with the loss of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to Chelsea.

They will be looking to start the year with another win against Liverpool as they look to improve on last season’s ninth placed finish and perhaps bring European football back to the Britannia.

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A far from impressive preseason campaign saw the Potters win just two of six games, losing their last three games on the bounce coming into the season opener.

On the other hand, Liverpool come into the new year in excellent form, having not lost any of their six preseason matches.

Brendan Rodgers is under pressure to turn things around at Anfield after a disappointing season last time out, but the losses of Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling could make that a tougher task than it seems.

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Plenty of new signings have arrived and the test will be getting them to gel quickly as they look to break back into the top four after their sixth-placed finish last season.

Team News

Stoke will still be without Bojan, although the playmaker is back in training after missing the final five months of last season. Ryan Shawcross is also ruled out, while Marc Wilson and Marko Arnautovic are doubts. Glen Johnson, who joined on a free from Liverpool this summer, could make his debut at right-back.

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has three injury concerns as Jon Flanagan and Daniel Sturridge are ruled out, while Joe Allen is doubtful. New signings Joe Gomez, Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner and Christian Benteke are all set to start for the Reds in what will be a new-look side. Roberto Firmino may have to settle for a place on the bench as he is not believed to be fit enough to start.

Key Points

Stoke’s preseason form: L/W/W/L/L/L

Liverpool’s preseason form: W/W/W/D/W/W

Key Stat: There have been 16 goals in the last three games between the two sides – an average of 5.3 per game.

Key Player: Christian Benteke – Liverpool’s £32.5 million summer arrival will look to start life as a Red with a goal on the way to helping his new side to three points.

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Score Prediction

Stoke City 2-2 Liverpool – Expecting another open, entertaining game at the Britannia between two sides looking to start the new season with three points. Stoke will be looking to follow up their end of season result with another victory but Liverpool should be out to impress and their new signings should earn them at least a point in this one.

2015/16 Premier League Predictions: Winners, losers and everything between

The 2015/16 Barclays Premier League season is just a couple of days away as one of the most hotly anticipated days in the football calendar edges ever closer. But for those looking past the opening round of fixtures, there’s another long campaign ahead with drama, thrills and spills guaranteed.

New teams, managers and players have arrived ahead of what looks set to be a close-run season at either end of the table, with sides strengthening across the division over the course of the summer.

The Premier League is almost impossible to predict, but we’re going to have a go anyway because who doesn’t like to sit back at the end of the season and think: ‘Wow. I didn’t see that coming.’

Will Chelsea retain their title? Will Harry Kane manage to replicate his scintillating form from last year? And will Sunderland ever go down? Read on to find out what our editor, Louis East is predicting for the 2015/16 Premier League campaign:

Title winners: Chelsea

Chelsea fully deserved their success last season as they ended up winning the title by eight points, despite a relatively poor end to the campaign by Jose Mourinho’s high standards. They may not have changed too much over the summer, but they didn’t need to. They were easily the best side in the country last time out and should be too strong once more, although they can expect to be pushed right to the end by Manchester City, Arsenal and possibly Manchester United.

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Relegated:  Norwich, Watford & Leicester

Always difficult predicting who will go down before a ball has even been kicked, but three teams have to be selected here. It’s easy to go with all three promoted sides but I’m expecting Bournemouth to hold their own in the top flight and so I think Leicester City will join Watford and Norwich in falling through the trapdoor. Without Nigel Pearson, the Foxes were doomed last year. Now he’s gone, it’s hard to see them staying up. Sunderland are always lingering near the danger zone but Dick Advocaat looked to turn things around and they should survive yet again.

Player of the season: Wayne Rooney

Eden Hazard lit the Premier League up last term but hasn’t looked as sharp so far in preseason and Wayne Rooney’s opportunity to play as the lone striker should see him pick up his first Player of the Year award since the 2009-10 season. He played as a striker that year, netting 26 times, and the England captain should find himself at the heart of everything United do going forward this year as they look to be serious title contenders once more.

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Best young player: Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling’s controversial move from Liverpool to Manchester City has seen the player attract plenty of criticism from those in and around football, but his quality cannot be questioned. Still just 20, Sterling has the opportunity to kick on and develop further at City and will look to record his best season yet under Manuel Pellegrini this year.

Golden Boot: Harry Kane

Few could have predicted what Harry Kane went on to achieve during the 2014/15 campaign but the young Spurs forward ended the year with 21 league goals and didn’t even establish himself as a first-team regular until October. He now has a full season to shine and should better his goal tally. Many are predicting his performances will dip, but he only seemed to improve last year and will be a better player from his experiences.

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Surprise package: AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth won the Championship in fine style last year, scoring more goals than anyone else with the second best defence in the league. The jump to the Premier League is a big one but there is a sense of real optimism around the club that they can hold their own in the top flight. Eddie Howe is a great young coach and should guide his team well clear of relegation as they look to be this season’s surprise package.

Shock of the season: Brendan Rodgers first to be sacked

Life as Liverpool manager has been tough for Brendan Rodgers. After narrowly missing out on Premier League glory in the 2013/14 season, the Reds dropped down to end last year in sixth, with that final day 6-1 defeat to Stoke one the fans were left devastated by. They start this season at the Britannia but Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling have gone and will leave Rodgers with further problems to fix. A flurry of new signings have arrived again but Rodgers might not have long enough to get them to gel this time around with pressure mounting rapidly.

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Signing of the season: Dimitri Payet

It was tough to neglect Petr Cech here as the goalkeeper will make Arsenal a much better side, but overall I think Dimitri Payet will prove more important to West Ham than Cech will to Arsenal this year. Payet arrives at the Hammers from Marseille off the back of a stellar season in France as he picked up 17 assists with seven goals in 36 league games. Only Lionel Messi made more successful through-balls in Europe’s top five leagues than Payet and he should ensure West Ham have a year to remember in what will be their last at the Boleyn Ground.

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Manager of the year: Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes has done a fine job with Stoke since taking over from Tony Pulis two years ago and doesn’t always receive the praise he deserves. Another fine summer of transfer business has seen the Potters strengthen with the likes of Glen Johnson, Marko Van Ginkel and Ibrahim Afellay arriving. Add that to the fact that Bojan will be back fighting and Hughes should have a Stoke side capable of replicating the stunning performance of Southampton last year.

What are your predictions for the 2015/16 Premier League season?

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Liverpool

Premier League Final Position: 6th 

Review

Liverpool have endured a terrible season in comparison to the previous campaign, having dropped an incredible 22 points from the 2013/14 season.

It seems that Brendan Rodgers’ side are still in transition as the sale of Luis Suarez cost them dearly in their pursuit of success this term, and many fans will be asking questions of where the club goes from here.

The dreadful 6-1 loss away to Stoke City on the last day of the season means that they finish the season below Spurs in 6th place and need to regroup quickly ahead of next season.

Finishing with just one win in their last six in the Premier League is not good enough as they ended the season with a whimper and it looks as if their chances of success next season rely on a very young squad.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment

A 2-1 win against Manchester City on March 1 sent a message across the league that Liverpool meant business and were ready to challenge for the top four after a strong run of form. They moved to within two points of fourth with that win but couldn’t qualify for the Champions League.

Worst Moment

It has to be the 6-1 loss to Stoke on the final day. A day to forget for Liverpool as they fell to sixth with their biggest ever Premier League loss. It was Steven Gerrard’s final game for the club and a terrible way to go out.

Player of the Year

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Jordan Henderson – He was easily the most influential player in a Liverpool shirt this term and deserves much more credit than he has been given. Expect him to be handed the captaincy next term and he will need to lead the team in the absence of Steven Gerrard.

Biggest Win

Tottenham 0-3 Liverpool (August 31, 2014)

Liverpool 4-1 Swansea (December 29, 2014)

Biggest Defeat

Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool (May 24, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

There is a clear need for a goalscorer in this squad as Steven Gerrard finished the campaign as their top scorer. An argument could be made that Sturridge will return and provide goals, but Liverpool need to increase their goal output regardless and must not become over-reliant on just one man to get them throught.

Could this MLS star strengthen United or Liverpool’s midfield?

Manchester United and Liverpool are expected to be in the transfer market this summer for a tough-tackling holding midfielder. Lewis Addley explores how New England Revolution‘s Jermaine Jones could improve United and Liverpool’s midfield.

Jones has played the majority of his career in Europe and featured in the Champions League quarter finals with German outfit, Schalke. The midfield powerhouse has played in Germany with three different clubs, including Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen.

United have had squad depth issues in midfield in the 2014/15 season with the likes of Michael Carrick out through injury and manager Louis Van Gaal rotating a number of players in a central role.

Liverpool, as we know, have just lost Steven Gerrard to MLS, and at times have lacked stability in the middle of the pitch. Jones is a no nonsense ball-playing midfielder who can break up play and move the ball on to attacking teammates in a tidy fashion. Brendan Rodgers is expected to strengthen his midfield and Jones possesses qualities to play in the holding role.

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At 33, a move is purely hypothetical and Jones is playing an integral role, albeit out of position, at New England Revolution. But his experience makes him an ideal candidate for many Premier League clubs. He already has the experience of playing in the Premier League on-loan at Blackburn Rovers back in 2011. On his first appearance for the club he picked up a man of the match award and went on to start 15 games for the club, becoming a fan-favourite.

Jones has also featured in the World Cup and he is the type of calm player suited to playing at the top level. He opted to play for US Men’s National Team after featuring for the German Under-21 side on four occasions. The Revs midfielder missed out on the 2010 World Cup through injury, which was a loss for the US.

There is no suggestion that MLS and Premier League are comparable competitions, but Jones has already proved his worth while playing in Europe.

Is it time for Premier League clubs to start looking further afield than Europe for their signings?

Liverpool closing in on Premier League goal-machine

Liverpool are closing in on Aston Villa‘s Christian Benteke as the striker is looking to force his way out of the club, according to the Sun.

Benteke has netted 13 goals in 28 Premier League appearances, recapturing the form he showed when he first signed for Villa in 2012.

Brendan Rodgers is expected to enter the summer transfer market in search of a goal-scorer as Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli have been linked with moves away from the club. Daniel Sturridge is expected to miss the start of the season so Rodgers will see his options severely limited.

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Villa boss, Tim Sherwood, is desperate not to lose his star-man but Benteke is reportedly set to double his wages if he secures a move to Merseyside.

Benteke’s current deal is set to expire in 2017 so any potential club will have to pay around £30 million to secure his services.

Would Benteke be a good signing for Liverpool?

Liverpool, Arsenal and United handed HUGE boost in chase for French £20m striker

Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United have been handed a huge boost in their chase of Olympique Lyonnias striker, Alexandre Lacazette.

The 23-year-old Frenchman has netted an impressive 27 league goals in 33 appearances and L’Equipe report that he is not willing to sign a new deal with his current club.

Lacazette is contracted to Lyon until 2018 but his decision not to sign a new deal has filled clubs chasing his services with optimism.

Lyon are desperate to keep hold of their star but will be hard pushed by clubs who are reportedly ready to offer in excess of £20 million for him.

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Liverpool are set to up their efforts to sign a new striker this summer as Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert are expected to depart and Daniel Sturridge’s injury woes continue.

Manchester United have been linked with a number of goal-scorers as Louis Van Gaal is to revamp his squad once again in their push for silverware next term.

Arsene Wenger’s side look close to being the complete package and are arguably only a couple of signings away from challenging for the Premier League title, and Lacazette could hold the key for their success.

Will Lacazette be on the move this summer and where is his most likely destination?

Brendan Rodgers keen on signing Manchester City fringe man – report

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to sign Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic for as little as £12 million, according to the Daily Mirror.

After two seasons in Manchester, the Montenegrin striker has failed to impress and has played second fiddle to Sergio Aguero.

Jovetic signed in the summer of 2013 for a reported £22 million fee, so City could lose out on half their investment should the deal take place.

With only eight goals in 30 appearances in the Premier League, Manuel Pellegrini is set to allow Jovetic to leave.

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Liverpool have been linked with a number of strikers this summer, after we reported that Jeremy Menez has also been recognised as a target for the Kop.

And with Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert continuously linked with moves away, Liverpool will need to find replacements as they will need backup for Daniel Sturridge, should the pair leave.

All that is certain is there will be an overhaul at Liverpool this summer once again, as they will look to replace the outgoing Steven Gerrard and also the hole left by Luis Suarez’s departure last summer.

Do you think Stevan Jovetic would be a good signing for Liverpool?