The Merseyside Derby is one we always pencil into our diaries. It’s always tense, there are always goals, talking points, major errors (sorry Pickford!) and it always entertains. Scousers live for football. Up in that wonderful city of Liverpool, football is religion and their star players are gods.
This season the Merseyside Derby comes at a very significant part of the season. The teams sit next to each other in the standings, with Everton three points behind Liverpool, despite having played one game less.
Much has been written about Liverpool’s form. “Bad champions” is the phrase they can’t seem to shake, and it really has been a strange season. A midweek win in the Champions League will do well to boost confidence, but will it only serve to paper up the cracks for now? They are in 6th place in the Premier League, a full 13 points away from Manchester City. The title is now City’s to lose, but Liverpool need to climb that table to grab a spot in the Champions League.
Everton have entertained us this season. A brilliant start laid down the marker, and to be fair they’ve kept up with the pace, sticking with the peloton. A spot in the Champions League is what they crave, and though that is entirely possible, it’s hard to imagine them there.
Hard, but not entirely impossible. Wednesday’s Manchester City game gave us more insights into Carlo Ancelotti’s side, but let’s admit: there is no shame in losing to Champions-elect Manchester City. At least Everton stayed in the game for 45 minutes and positives can be drawn from the 3-1 defeat.
Anfield alarm for Everton
Anfield is Everton’s biggest problem. The Blues have not won there in their last 23 attempts but these are strange times, and Liverpool are without a home win in their last five games. Breaking that duck against their arch rivals would be the ultimate response for Liverpool, while anything less would seem like another failure, which are stacking up for Klopp’s men.
There is still no better time to face Liverpool. Form goes out of the window in a derby and this will come down to the big characters, big moments and big mistakes.
We’re going for a tame prediction here, a draw which is priced up at 7/2 or 4.5.