There’s few derby games that beat the Merseyside one in football and following the starts that both of these sides have made to the campaign, one could argue that this one has even more riding on it than normal. Despite many holding reservations about Liverpool before the start of the season, the Reds have enjoyed a superb opening few months and will find themselves top of the league if they can beat their opponents due to the early kick-off time. The Toffees are also in an extremely positive position though and they will move level on points with Brendan Rodgers’ side if they can muster three points from the fixture.
Despite the change in manager over the summer, it’s been business as usual at Goodison Park over the last few months. Absolutely nothing has changed and with the Toffees currently positioned in 6th, supporters must be very happy with the transitional period that has ensued. While David Moyes might be struggling somewhat to get to grips with his new role at Old Trafford, his successor Roberto Martinez certainly isn’t and he’ll be hoping to continue the club’s fine form over the last few weeks. Everton have now kept three consecutive clean sheets and approach this game on the back of a four match unbeaten run. Admittedly, the last two games have finished in goalless draws, but they won’t fear anyone after dropping just four points at home all season.
Even though opponents Liverpool continue to impress, all of the pundits are still dismissing their title chances. If things continue to progress as they are doing, that will work out just fine for Brendan Rodgers who is looking to establish the Anfield outfit into the top four for the first time in years. Their defeat to Arsenal at the start of the month led many to question their title aspirations, yet they responded with conviction in their last game after thumping Fulham 4-0. However, their away form has been poor throughout the year and the fact that they have won just twice on the road will worry fans ahead of this short trip.
One issue that will swing in Everton’s favour ahead of the clash is their team news, with the Toffees having nothing new to report ahead of the game. Roberto Martinez might decide to throw in Antolin Alcaraz and Tony Hibbert following their long-term problems, but it’s understood that he wants to give the duo more time to recover. Liverpool on the other hand will not be able to rely on Jose Enrique who look set to be out for the foreseeable future with a knee problem. Kolo Toure is back in the reckoning following an injury of his own, but Daniel Sturridge might not feature due to a dead leg.
Even though you should never rely on form ahead of a derby game, we think that Everton’s record at home will count for everything here. Liverpool have been poor away and this means that our prediction is going to be a narrow 2-1 victory for Roberto Martinez’s men.