Liverpool v Everton: Match Preview
Sunday will signal the 220th edition of the Merseyside derby when Liverpool and Everton kick off at Anfield. Whilst it may appear that there is little to be gained in terms of moving towards European qualification, pride will be at stake to decide Merseyside's top guns.
Liverpool will have to cope without the threat of Luis Suarez as he enters the second game of his ten match ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic. Joe Allen and Raheem Sterling both remain out of contention but Rodgers has a full squad to choose from otherwise.
There are no major injury doubts for David Moyes' Everton side with all key players available for selection though Phil Neville will miss out due to a knee injury and Darron Gibson may require a late fitness test.
Everton will be desperate to shake off a fourteen year run that has seen them fail to beat Liverpool in their last thirteen attempts at Anfield, going all the way back to September 1999 when Kevin Campbell scored the only goal of the game. However Liverpool have been far from dominant, winning just six of those thirteen.
Sunday's game will almost certainly spell the end of Jamie Carragher's Merseyside derby career, whilst recent speculation surrounding David Moyes' future could mean the Scot may be facing off against Liverpool for the final time as Everton boss.
Speaking ahead of the game, Brendan Rodgers told how he believed if the clubs early season form had been as impressive as their recent performances his side would be looking at a more prosperous season.
"We want to finish as high as we can and if that means going above Everton then great but the most important thing is to get the points on Sunday. Anfield is a good place for us to play and we love being there. If we don’t get above Everton before the end of the season it will only be because of the start that we had. We didn’t win a game until the end of September, but from that point we have got better and better."
“The games [between the Merseyside clubs] have got a bit more open. You don’t get allowed to tackle as much as you used to in the past but I can still see it being competitive. You would expect that from this sort of game. " said David Moyes. “I hope we get a good game and I think both teams are in decent form.”
- Previous five meetings:
Everton 2-2 Liverpool (Premier League)
Osman, Naismith ; Baines (O.G), Suarez
Liverpool 2-1 Everton (FA Cup)
Suarez, Carroll ; Jelavic
Liverpool 3-0 Everton (Premier League)
Everton 0-2 Liverpool (Premier League)
Liverpool 2-2 Everton (Premier League)
Meireles, Kuyt ; Distin, Beckford
Possible Line Ups
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