Everton v Liverpool

Everton v Liverpool – Sunday 28th October – Goodison Park (15:30)

Everton v Liverpool

Super Sunday kicks-off with one of the most high profile local derbies in world football, the Merseyside derby. It is the longest currently running top-flight derby in England, having been played at that level every season since 1962–63. It is referred to as the friendly derby because of the large number of families who have both Reds and Blues supporters in them. It is one of the few local derbies that does not enforce total fan segregation, with so many families and friends supporting both clubs.  However, since the inception of the Premier League the Merseyside derby has had more red cards than any other game, thus has been referred to as the most ill-disciplined and explosive fixture in the Premier League. It is a contest which, regardless of league position, remains one of the biggest and most highly anticipated matches in the English football calendar.

Starting this season in such uncommonly commanding fashion, Everton now face the biggest examination of their top-six credentials when their arch-rivals make the short trip to Goodison Park on Sunday. During David Moyes’ tenure at the club, this has often been a fixture supporter’s have been left disappointed in. The Toffees have a woeful record under their current manager with just four victories and six draws coming in his 23 contests. In so many recent derbies, Everton’s methods would have been to stifle and suppress their opponent, surrender the majority of play and eventually look for an opening to overload and capitalise on. This season Everton have shown with a few good signings, they can also take the game to any opponents. They now look to be the aggressor and dictate the tempo far more often, backed up by the fact that in every single match this season they have had more shots than their opponents and have never carved out fewer chances. The Toffees have been impressive at home with wins against Manchester United and Southampton and a draw with Newcastle. A major blow is that they will be without key personnel in Marouane Fellaini who is injured and Steven Pienaar who received his marching orders after two yellow cards in Everton’s 1-1 draw at QPR last weekend.

Liverpool have always been the more dominant club but will come into this match trailing Everton by eight positions after a horrendous start to the League. The Reds are coming off their first league win and Brendan Rodgers will be looking to build on that victory in this match. Raheem Sterling bagged his first Liverpool goal to clinch a 1-0 win over Reading that ended the Reds’ wait for a first home league success under boss Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool have one other win recording in the league, a 5-2 away victory at Norwich, and have lost three matches and drawn three thus far. Sterling is perhaps the best youngster to emerge from the Liverpool youth ranks since talisman Steven Gerrard. The Reds have been playing decently and implementing Brendan Rodgers’ style of possession and control of matches adequately but have failed to improve on their inability to score goals. Besides the five goals against Norwich they have scored only five more in their other seven matches and have conceded 12 goals. It will be an area Rodgers will be working on and signs of that were shown in the Reading match as the wingers were given much more freedom to go forward playing almost alongside striker Luis Suarez. With Fabio Borini out injured, young Spanish talent Suso is likely to start again which will only increase Liverpool’s chances of controlling this match.

Liverpool have dominated recent encounters losing just four times in 27 matches since 2000, winning 16 of those games. They have also beaten Everton in the last three encounters last season. The form book is often thrown out the window in derbies such as this one and Liverpool are tipped to oust their local rivals for the fourth time in a row.

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