Adrian Clarke returns after going two for two last weekend on his Premier League Insights Column and is looking to keep that run going with another Premier League double on GW23.
DYCHE’S NEW-LOOK TOFFEES CAN TEST FALTERING LIVERPOOL
You just can’t trust Liverpool this season.
In attack, in defence, and obviously in that problem midfield of theirs, the Reds are so far off the pace it’s scarcely believable.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have already conceded two more goals than they did last term, and there are 18 matches left to play. It’s amazing.
Plagued by hesitant decision-making, poor positioning and a bold style of play that regularly leaves their central defenders exposed, the standards of Liverpool’s off the ball work have absolutely dropped off a cliff.
In the past you’d be wary of backing against them, even when they were looking dodgy at the back, but their attack isn’t functioning right either.
Scoring once in four games, goals are certainly not guaranteed at the moment.
Mo Salah is a case in point. Usually so destructive, so consistent, the Egyptian superstar has gone 535 minutes without a Premier League goal.
I’m convinced that if Jurgen Klopp wasn’t Jurgen Klopp, he’d have been sacked by now. That;s how bad they’ve looked.
Sean Dyche and his Everton players will no doubt fancy it on Monday night.
I thought the Toffees gaffer nailed it on debut against Arsenal with a magnificent tactical performance.
Unashamedly direct, menacing at every set piece, super industrious and well-drilled, Everton played way, way, way above their level under Frank Lampard.
A repetition of those standards across Stanley Park in this derby clash would test Liverpool greatly.
Enough to win the game? Maybe. Maybe not, but when you can get Everton on side with a +1.0/1.5 handicap (1.76) it doesn’t matter so much if you are backing them.
For us not to make a profit from this selection the Reds would need to win by two clear goals or more, and that’s happened just three times all season.
The only two occasions they won by more than a goal on home turf were against Bournemouth and Southampton, the current bottom two.
A rejuvenated Dominic Calvert-Lewin, propped up by a powerful midfield trio, has potential to create more headaches for Klopp’s creaking outfit.
If they play with the hostility we witnessed against the leaders, it will be an uncomfortable evening for the hosts.
It is a small sample size granted, but Dyche’s Everton don’t look like they will be pushovers.
HOWE SHOULD ENJOY CHERRIES REUNION
I’m sure Bournemouth fans will do the right thing and serenade Eddie Howe ahead of kick off, on what will be his first return to the Vitality Stadium since he departed in the summer of 2020.
The 45-year-old is a Cherries legend, the club’s GOAT, and fully deserves the warmest of welcomes back at his old stomping ground.
By the time the final whistle blows. will Bournemouth’s supporters be glad to see the back of him? I do suspect so.
Newcastle United’s form may have plateaued a touch in recent weeks, but they are still unbeaten since August.
Conceding 12 goals in 21 games, keeping clean sheets in half of their away fixtures, they are a side that should have way too much for Gary O’Neil’s beleaguered Bournemouth.
The Dorset strugglers brought in some decent acquisitions last month, and they might well improve, but in the here and now results aren’t good.
Losing seven of their last eight matches, the Cherries have fired blanks in five of their six contests since the season resumed on Boxing Day.
It is hard to envisage them causing a shock against the division’s most solid opponents.
Bruno Guimares remains suspended, but the visitors, who will have made a 293-mile trip to get there, are planning to welcome Alexander Isak back into the match day squad.
The gifted Swede is a fabulous option from the bench if Callum Wilson doesn’t score against his former club, and new recruit Anthony Gordon is another exciting alternative up Howe’s tactical sleeve for this one.
With competition for places hotting up and a highly motivated manager determined not to lose on his return, there is no excuse for the Magpies not delivering a professional performance.
If that is what they produce, it should yield three big points.
Newcastle are too short to back on the nose this week, so I’d prefer to pair them with a goals angle. Given that 17 of both teams’ 21 games have dipped under 4.5 goals that’s the line I am happy to draw.
At Matchbook I can get 1.88 on Newcastle & Under 4.5 goals. It feels like the right combination.
- Everton +1.0/1.5 v Liverpool (1.76)
- Newcastle United & Under 4.5 Goals v Bournemouth (1.88)
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