Premier League: Merseyside Duo Look to Make Top Four Inroads

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Everton take on Aston Villa and Liverpool head to Manchester United in the Premier League on Thursday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jurgen Klopp match up at Old Trafford.

After Chelsea’s defeat at home to Arsenal on Wednesday, both Everton and Liverpool have the opportunity to close the gap to the fourth-place Blues and keep themselves in the hunt for the final Champions League position.

Toffees to Maintain Impressive Road Form

It’s safe to say that Everton have preferred playing away from Goodison Park this season, having earned 36 away points compared to only 19 at home, and that record bodes well ahead of Thursday’s trip to Aston Villa (18:00 KO).

Carlo Ancelotti’s men are ninth in the Premier League, nine points behind Chelsea but with two games in hand, and the Toffees know a perfect end to the campaign is needed to stand any chance of finishing in the top four.

Everton head to the West Midlands in good form, having suffered just one defeat from their last six matches while they have also won their last two away outings 1-0 – beating Arsenal and West Ham United.

Villa have been missing talisman Jack Grealish, who could play some part after missing the last 12 games with a shin injury, and they have picked up just two victories from their last 10 attempts.

The Villans are without striker Ollie Watkins, who serves a one-match ban for his red card against Manchester Uinted last time out, and the hosts may find it difficult to break down an Everton side that have kept five clean sheets from their last six away games.

Backing the Toffees to win at 6/4 looks a solid option, while the win to nil also appeals at 33/10.

Liverpool to Keep CL Hopes Alive

Having been at such a high standard over the last two seasons, this campaign has been a disappointing one for Liverpool, who have been dethroned as Premier League champions and are fighting to qualify for Europe.

The Reds are sixth in the standings, seven points behind Chelsea but with two games in hand, and Jurgen Klopp’s men will be hoping they can get the job done against Manchester United at Old Trafford (20:15 KO).

This rearranged fixture has not helped United’s cause, as this will be their third game in five days, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to rotate his side once again to stave off the threat of any big injuries.

A potentially weakened home side could play into the hands of Liverpool, who are on a five-game unbeaten run across all competitions and haven’t lost against the Red Devils in the last five league meetings.

Solskjaer will again be without captain Harry Maguire because of an ankle injury and he faces a race to get fit for the Europa League final on May 26, while Anthony Martial and Dan James remain sidelined.

Liverpool’s Ozan Kabak, Naby Keita, James Milner and Ben Davies all miss out again with minor injuries, but Divock Origi and Caoimhin Kelleher are back in training and could be involved in some capacity.

With United already guaranteed a top-four place and changes to their line-up expected, backing Liverpool to get the win at 7/5 looks the way to go due to the Reds’ greater need for the points.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

A single-handicapper, James always offers an interesting insight to the world of golf, with extensive knowledge of both the US and European Tours. James also has a wealth of information about the domestic and international football scene.

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