The 239th edition of the Merseyside derby takes top billing as we look at the best bets for Matchweek 14 of the 2021/22 English Premier League season. We also have picks for Crystal Palace’s trip to Leeds and West Ham’s clash with Brighton.
Leeds United vs Crystal Palace
Wednesday, December 1 – 7:15am AEDT – Elland Road, Leeds
Leeds have managed only one win in their last six league games, and that came against a battling Norwich City side. That poor run of form leaves the Whites only three points above the relegation zone, and with last-placed Newcastle United expected to spend heavily in January, that is a precarious position to be in.
Crystal Palace became the second victim of the Steven Gerrard revolution at Aston Villa, going down 2-1 at Selhurst Park over the weekend. Although the Eagles are in a comfortable mid-table spot, seven draws in 13 games will have Eagles fans frustrated. If a couple of those stalemates had been converted into wins, Palace would be in the top six right now.
Leeds have managed only one win at home this season, while Palace have only a single victory on the road. They also have similar goal differentials from those games, with the Peacocks (-3) just shading out Patrick Vieira’s side (-4). Given those numbers and Palace’s inability to turn decent performances into full points, the draw looks a solid play.
West Ham United vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Thursday, December 2 – 6:30am AEDT – London Stadium, Stratford
Consecutive losses to Wolverhampton (1-0) and Manchester City (2-1) have slowed West Ham’s roll, yet they are still hanging onto a top-four spot thanks to a superior goal difference compared to Arsenal. However, with the teams below them starting to put some results together, the Irons cannot afford to let this blip become a full-blown slump.
Brighton started the season in fine fettle, picking up wins against Burnley (2-1), Watford (2-0), Brentford (1-0) and Leicester City (2-1) in the first five weeks, but whatever mojo they had is now gone. The Seagulls have not tasted victory since beating Swansea City in the EFL Cup in September, and they have scored only five goals in eight EPL games since then – two of which came in a surprising 2-2 draw with Liverpool.
If West Ham want to hang with the big boys, they have to win games like this. David Moyes and his charges will be determined to make a statement after a lacklustre performance against Man City, so get on them to put away Brighton and score a few goals in the process.
West Ham / Over 1.5 goals
Everton vs Liverpool
Thursday, December 2 – 7:15am AEDT – Goodison Park, Liverpool
After a promising start to the season, everything has gone wrong for Everton. Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Brentford leaves the Toffees in 14th place with only one point from their last six games, going goalless in four of those. All of a sudden, Rafa Benitez is under serious pressure as he prepares to face the club he took to Champions League glory in 2005.
After dropping points in consecutive games against Brighton and West Ham, Liverpool have found their mojo again with a pair of 4-0 home wins against Arsenal and Southampton. Those results came either side of a comfortable 2-0 victory against Porto in the Champions League, where the Reds hold a perfect record after five group games. With 39 goals from 13 league games, Liverpool’s star-studded attack is the most potent in the league.
Everton broke a 10-year drought in the Merseyside derby back in February this year, winning 2-0 at Anfield, but it would be remarkable if we saw a similar outcome this week. Jurgen Klopp’s men are locked in a gripping three-way title race and will have no intention of dropping points against their local rivals. There is little value about the match markets, but Mohamed Salah to provide an assist is well worth a look at +210, as the Liverpool forward leads the league with eight for the season.
Mohamed Salah anytime assist
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