Why Liverpool will beat Everton
Arch-rivals and Merseyside neighbours meet once more this weekend. With the blue side of the city enjoying life near the top of the table, the Reds will look to reclaim status as the premier club in town and secure bragging rights until the return fixture.
As one of the longest running and most bitter derbies in the game, the fixture often sees reds fly. With seven red cards being issued since 2007, there is no doubt that these rivals aren't shy about confrontation. And I am sure this derby will be no different.
Sunday will also present the first chance for Brendan Rodgers to experience the local derby. Having acquitted himself well against eternal enemies, Manchester United, it will be interesting to see if he continues to set his team up to be cavalier and attacking. I suspect Rodgers will be consistent, and I am keen to see how the Reds get on.
Here is exactly why I think Liverpool can take the three points.Form
Although lower in the table, Liverpool enter as the form team; winning three of their past four domestic league and cup games. Having kept two clean sheets on the trot, Rodgers seems to have alleviated the defensive calamities.
And the Reds will take further confidence considering the form of their rivals. The Toffees started brightly in the league, but have witnessed a dip in results, managing just one win from their last four games and two wins in their last seven.
Luis Suarez will also be delighted to know that Everton haven’t kept a clean sheet in more than a month. Although that won’t stop him from missing five sitters before completing an impossible overhead kick for goal of the week!Key Match-up
In what is expected to be a tightly contested game, Liverpool will have to expose a mismatch to gain the advantage. In particular, they will need to attack the aging Phil Neville.
Neville is a notoriously tough man marker, but he is going to have his hands full with the Liverpool front line. Sterling possesses lightning pace, and the movement of Suarez is sublime, which will threaten the space behind Neville all game. The goal the two created on the counter against Reading was blindingly quick and is evidence of a growing bond between the attackers.
At 35 and no longer fleet of foot, Neville could be in for a long day chasing the young Sterling.Recent Derby Clashes
History tends to repeats itself. So you can imagine that David Moyes will be having nightmares before facing Liverpool. He has recorded just four wins in 22 games against his neighbours. More recently, the Reds swept Moyes aside last season, with the trio of deflating defeats including the big FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
And Gerrard and Suarez will be haunting Moyes personally. The prolific duo has combined for almost all of the goals against Everton in those games, and will look to make it a reoccurring bad dream on Sunday.With the match taking place at Goodison Park it might actually be a blessing for the Reds. Having only just recorded their first win at home, The Kop has recently been intimidating for the home team at Anfield.
The escape of pressure, even if it’s just a kilometer away, will allow Liverpool to play flowing and expansive football. This promises to be an open and entertaining game and one which I believe Liverpool will emerge from victorious.
Calling all Liverpool fans: How do you see the game going? Will it be business as usual with the Reds picking up all three points or do you have concerns over Everton's attacking talents this season? Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you.