Mark Lawrenson predicts Liverpool v Everton

Anfield

Everton make the short trip to Anfield on Wednesday.

BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson has predicted that Liverpool will win tonight's Merseyside derby with Everton at Anfield.

Still gleaming from their dramatic win over Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League, the Reds host their neighbours aiming for a third straight Premier League victory, having edged out Bournemouth with a majorly under-strength XI on Sunday.

In contrast, the Toffees have managed just one league victory from their previous eight - a 3-1 win at Aston Villa, who have since been relegated in the Championship - and there continues to be a degree of pressure on manager Roberto Martinez.

The Spaniard's only saving grace is perhaps the fact that they remain in the FA Cup ahead of this weekend's semi-final with Manchester United at Wembley, and Lawrenson is fearful that Martinez may play one of his key players tonight, risking an injury.

"After that memorable comeback win over Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League, Liverpool made a load of changes for Sunday's win over Bournemouth and still looked pretty comfortable. I am backing them to win on Wednesday too," he said to BBC Sport. "The whole situation at Everton is very strange and it feels like they have lost their way a little bit. I don't understand how they have got themselves in such a mess with the players they have got. I also don't know why Toffees manager Roberto Martinez did not field a stronger side for Saturday's draw with Southampton.

"It was a home game where he knows some of the punters are against him because of his poor record there this season, and one he badly needed to win. If he had left a few out for this game, people would understand it was because Everton have got a massive FA Cup semi-final coming up against Manchester United on Saturday.

"That game could be pivotal for Martinez and you know what will happen now, don't you? One of his key players will play in this game and pick up an injury that means they will miss out on Wembley."

 

Jurgen Klopp would do well to keep some of his players in reserve too, with the Reds scheduled to face Villarreal in the Europa League semi-finals this month.

 

Neither side has a great deal to play for as far the Premier League is concerned, though victory would keep alive Liverpool's feint hopes of finishing in the top four this season. They sit nine points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, with a game in hand.

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