The Merseyside Derby is always an enticing affair between the two Liverpool clubs, and next week’s Premier League match should be no different. Although Everton haven’t won against Liverpool since 2010, they have had the more successful season so far this term and will have the home-field advantage playing at Goodison Park in this match.
Everton is currently in 4th place in the league after beginning the year with an enthralling 1-0 win against Manchester United. They built off of that victory and have since defeated Southampton, Swansea, and Aston Villa. Their only defeat has been away to West Bromwich who is one of the surprising darlings of the young EPL campaign.
Everton has built a solid start from some of their excellent players and solid defensive play. American goalkeeper Tim Howard is a great presence between the posts while offensively the team has benefited from relatively new striker Nikica Jelavic and midfield dominator, Marouane Fellaini. Steven Pienaar has also brought a real edge to the team, although he will unfortunately miss the derby due to a suspension from a red card he earned last weekend at QPR.
Everton has slumped recently with two draws in their last two Premier League matches, although one could argue the QPR draw was a success since the finished the game with only 10 men, and both matches have been away from home.
Understandably, the team has seen a rather easy start to the campaign with Manchester United their only true test, however, that is set to change starting with this Liverpool match.
Liverpool has been woefully average, and this poor run has continued into this year. Other than the five goals by Luis Suarez, the Reds have not been anywhere near up to par. They are currently 12th in the table and have only managed two wins in eight matches. They head into this match on the brink of desperation, and would be especially embarrassed should they fall to their greatest rivals, who look to be overtaking them as far as the most successful football club in town.
As bright as Everton have looked, this match will be quite tough. Derby atmospheres always make for an unpredictable game, but with the injured Fellaini struggling to gain fitness for this match and the suspended Pienaar, the team could find chances difficult to come by. Perhaps Kevin Mirallas can earn some playing time in this match and make a difference.
Either way, the Everton Liverpool game is sure to be an exciting match as these two clubs, both hungry for a win tussle horns in a heated rivalry battle. I foresee an Everton victory 3-2.