Everton haven’t had much luck in the Merseyside derby of late. It’s been 19 matches since they won one of them, when Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta saw off Mr Roy’s Reds in 2010. And it’s been 20 years since they won at Anfield, their last triumph in their old home courtesy of a Kevin Campbell goal. God speed, Toffees.
Liverpool are currently eight points clear at the top of the Premier League, while Everton hover just a couple above the relegation zone. So it’s not just the history books that Marco Silva’s side are up against; the current form book suggests only one likely result, too. But a quick flick through our third tome – the great big book of hoary old cliches – will tell you that form goes out of the window in a derby. So …
… there is hope! For starters, Everton usually give Liverpool a proper game. They were the better team at Anfield last season, only to be undone by Jordan Pickford’s surreal late error, while they were awkward and cussed in a goalless draw at Goodison that handed title advantage to Manchester City. It’s been a while since Liverpool have had it easy against their neighbours.
And while Everton have injury problems of their own – no Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph or Seamus Coleman – Jurgen Klopp’s side is depleted in a couple of important positions. They’ll miss Fabinho’s midfield glue until the New Year, while keeper Alisson is suspended after his reckless red card against Brighton.
So can Everton spring a surprise that may save Marco Silva’s job? Or will Liverpool keep onwards and upwards in their relentless pursuit of that elusive Premier League title? We’ll find out soon enough as the 234th Merseyside derby plays out in front of our very eyes. It’s on!
Kick off: 8.15pm GMT.