Liverpool (18th) at Everton (17th) / Goodison Park / 8:30 AM ET – After seven games played, it’s still considered to be relatively early in the Premiership season. Unfortunately for Liverpool, the team has already entered into the situation where every single game falls into the “must win” category. Despite continued high expectations for the squad and the consistent optimism by the players and coaches, the team has yet to show any real signs of life. Since earning their only win of the season so far over a month ago, Liverpool has failed to build on that result. After a 0-0 draw at Birmingham City, the team has drawn one and lost two, allowing 7 goals in the process. This highlights the fact that, despite the sub-par performances of star striker Fernando Torres, the team’s biggest problems have been on the defensive end. Even after bad performances in pretty much every game up to this point, Liverpool continues to get respect by the oddsmakers. At this point, it seems clear to me that this is due mostly to the team’s name and reputation. However, with elite players like Torres and Steven Gerrard in the lineup, you have to think that, at some point, Liverpool will finally get its act together and become at least a respectable team this season. It feels like we say this every week, but Liverpool has a good opportunity for that breakout performance this weekend when they visit Everton. Despite coming off of their first win of the season, the Toffees have had problems finding consistent scoring options. Like Liverpool, they have underachieved by a huge margin this season. But, given that both teams have been equally bad so far this season, the tiebreaker has to go to the side with more talent. In this case, the easy winner is Liverpool.
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After a 2-week break, the Premier League continues its full slate of weekend games when Liverpool visits St. Andrews Ground to take on Birmingham City. Kickoff for this one is Sunday at 11:00 AM ET.
Wednesday’s semifinal game features a rematch of the EURO 2008 final, in which Spain beat Germany 1-0. Fernando Torres scored the goal in the 33rd minute at Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria.