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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Liverpool v Everton: Will Rodgers or Martinez be the king of Merseyside?


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There are big games - and then there is the Merseyside derby.

The city of Liverpool will come to a standstill tonight as old foes Liverpool and Everton lock horns in front of a passionate and jam-packed Anfield.

Both sides have been revelations this season. Brendan Rodgers has lifted his Liverpool side back into the top four after playing some of the best football in the league, while Roberto Martinez has only seen his Toffees lose twice all season and sit just one point behind their city neighbours.

The two sides shared the spoils in a six-goal thriller in November. It was arguably the best game of the Premier League season so far, as both sides attacked from the off, and the fans would love to be served a generous second helping tonight.

The Merseyside giants clash for the 222nd time, but will it finally be Everton's turn for victory in front of the Kop or will Suarez rise to the big occasion again? The Toffees have failed to win on their past 13 visits to Anfield, drawing seven and losing six, but victory tonight would see them leapfrog Liverpool in the battle for fourth spot.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is on course to become the first boss in history to win the FA Cup in consecutive seasons with different teams. Having won the cup with unfancied Wigan Athletic last season, the Spaniard is now third favourites with the bookies to win this year's competition.

However, the chance to finish in the top four is too big of an opportunity to miss out on for the Toffees. The prestige, glamour and financial riches that would bring would be huge for the Goodison Park club. The same can be said of Liverpool though and in Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez they have two of the best finishers in the game today.

This will be a tasty encounter, but which set of fans will be heading in to work tomorrow beaming from ear to ear?

SQF Prediction: 3-3

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Colin Illingworth

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