Liverpool FC: Clash on Merseyside

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Daniel Sturridge competes for possession with Sylvain Distin in the corresponding fixture last campaign. Photo courtesy of LFC Images.

Tomorrow brings the 221st meeting of Liverpool FC and Everton FC. This is a special derby as Everton manager Roberto Martinez will look to defeat Liverpool in his very first Merseyside derby. The Spanish manager will make his debut in front of what should be a packed Goodison Park with the support of 40,000 Toffees backing him.

Where - Goodison Park Liverpool, England

When - Saturday 21 November 7:45AM EST 12:45PM GMT

How to Watch - NBC Sports Network

Both former Swansea managers, both 40 years old, and both with similar football philosophies will clash on Saturday afternoon. With Liverpool currently sitting at 2nd place in the table just two points behind Arsenal and Everton at 6th, three points behind Liverpool, this is shaping up to be one of the stronger clashes of recent times.

Both clubs have recently implemented the Tiki-taka style of football with their two like minded managers. If both teams stick to their styles this should shape up to be a calculated and patient approach. But this isn’t any normal league game, this is a Merseyside derby. A fixture which is historically rough and tumble, with old British style football being played. The last 25 fixtures have seen a total of 13 players sent off as well as 53 goals.

Everton

The team in blue is on one of their best runs in recent times. The club hasn’t lost a game at Goodison in 2013 and if they can see that out for the next month they will achieve a feat which they haven’t accomplished in 51 years.

Sporting a solid back four of  Baines, Distin, Jagielka, and Coleman, Everton have not conceded a goal in three consecutive matches. We will come back to this later. The Toffees have been solid at the back but going forward they have struggled of late. They have not been able to unlock the defenses of Crystal Palace, Spurs, or Aston Villa, and haven’t scored since the middle of October. Romelu Lukaku has been of the beat and essentially all goal scoring has dried up for the Evertonians.  The Toffees will look to capitalize on a still unsettled Liverpool back four.

Everton and American legend Tim Howard will make his 272nd Premier League start for Everton, breaking the club record.

Antolin Alcatraz and Tony Hibbert will be returning from injury, although they are unlikely to play due to match fitness.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez said:

“It’s probably too early for (them to start) on Saturday – and then we only have Darron Gibson and Arouna Kone out.”

Liverpool

The Reds will be coming of a solid 4-0 home victory against London based club Fulham. Liverpool is seemingly firing on all cylinders with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge tied for most goals in the league and making up one of the most potent striking duos in the Premier League. Bad news for the Redmen is that Sturridge is a doubt for Saturday’s fixture. Jose Enrique will also be nursing a lengthy knee injury, most likely Aly Cissokho will fill his place.

Brenden Rodgers had this to say:

 “He went to England with an injury. He’s had a dead leg for three to four weeks, and he’s been playing through with it. He hardly trained when he left after the Fulham game.

“Jose Enrique has been struggling for a little while with an injury. He will probably need an operation. It’s a blow for us because he’s a very talented player.

Even with the blow to Sturridge Liverpool will look to be the team that can finally crack the key to the Everton back four. Liverpool has managed to bag 21 goals this year, third best in the league.

Update: Daniel Sturridge will be available for Saturdays game and will start on the bench.

Team Predicitons

Everton: 4-4-2. Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Mirallas, McCarthy, Barry, Pienaar; Osman; Lukaku

Liverpool: 4-4-2. Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Cissokho; Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho; Suarez, Moses

Verdict

The Merseyside clubs will both stick to their Tiki-taka style but it will quickly be overwhelmed by a more attacking, classic style. The Goodison fans will be electric and the “traveling” Liverpudlians will scream their lungs out to attempt to create an Anfield atmosphere. Liverpool have a slight edge and I will give them the nod. 2-1 to Liverpool with goals from Suarez and Henderson. In the end the game will come down to the reliability of Everton captain Jagielka and his back four. If they are able to stay steadfast in defense Everton may have a slim chance at a draw.

 

 

 

 

Topics: Liverpool Football Club

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