Friday, 22 November 2013

Everton vs Liverpool - Pre-Match Analysis

Build Up
The 221st (189th in the league) Merseyside derby takes place at Goodison Park this Saturday in the early kick off. Roberto Martinez team sit in 6th place, only 3 points behind Liverpool. Everton have not been beaten at home this year and have only conceded 3 goals at home this season. They have drawn there last two consecutive games 0-0 and have kept 3 clean sheets in a row. This is undoubtedly down to Martinez patient build up play and the help of Gareth Barry, providing extra defensive cover for the back line. They haven't been clinical going forwards in recent games and the concerning factor is that when loaned player Romelu Lukaku doesn't score, neither do Everton.

Liverpool have made a fantastic start to their campaign, second in the table with both strikers scoring 8 goals each in the Premier League (Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez). Brendan Rodgers team look like the real deal this season and have surprised many with their attacking prowess. There last game in the league saw them demolish Fulham 4-0 at home and fans will want this rich vein of goalscoring form to continue. Liverpool FC owner John W. Henry even issued his private jet to fly Suarez back from Montevideo in Uruguay so that the striker is rested as much as possible ahead of this derby game.

Team News
Everton - There are no fresh injury concerns for Martinez men after the international break. Antolin Alcaraz and Tony Hibbert have returned from long lay offs but won't be ready to make an appearance.

Liverpool - Jose Enrique will miss out the derby as he has been ruled out with a knee injury and could be out for some time as it looks like he will require surgery. Kolo Toure is currently nursing a muscle injury but should start.

Based on performances so far and previous derby meetings the result would suggest a Liverpool victory. The firepower they have upfront can't be ignored. At the same time Everton have played some good football and their defence have been solid this year, let alone this season. I'm going to put my neck on the line here and go for a home win with Lukaku finding the net. Being a derby, the form book goes out the window.

Everton 2 Liverpool 1

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