Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez head into the new season with very different ambitions and very different aims and it will be fascinating to see how the duel between the two major Merseyside clubs pans out.
Everton finished above Liverpool last season so they will be intent on maintaining that physical dominance while Liverpool are shaping up to have ambitions which are much more than just finishing above their rivals.
Brendan Rodgers is under the more pressure because of the faith the club showed in him last season when there were plenty of fans all over the country suggesting he should be sacked.
He’s also been predominantly backed in the transfer market, which means those players he’s signed and will sign, need to provide a physical return for him, win matches and help the club to climb the league table.
In terms of silverware Liverpool’s best hopes come in the domestic competitions because they still aren’t strong enough to compete for the Champions League and they are not in Europe.
The main aim has to be a top four finish but that will still take some achieving considering the calibre of sides that are all in the hunt competing for that elusive and rewarding Champions League place.
“The top four is where we want to be – Next year can be a big year for us if we can add the right type of mentalities to the group and make sure we become more consistent,” Rodgers told reporters last month.
Everton by contrast will feel a little confused over their aims and ambitions for the season.
Roberto Martinez has a very big job on his hands to maintain the good work that was started by David Moyes but also moving the club forward into European football and breaking into that group of ‘elite’ clubs in the Premier League.
Martinez also promises a very exciting brand of football for the club because of the way he got his Wigan team playing, especially in the FA Cup final last season when they play Manchester City off of the park.
In terms of transfers it’s probably going to be as you were because the money situation hasn’t changed at Everton but Martinez does have a good record of signing solid players.
What’s more exciting is his ability to bring through younger players and develop them into stunning and consistent professionals.
James McArthur, James McCarthy and Callum McManaman are the three names which come to mind most recently from Wigan last season and Martinez also showed with Shaun Maloney that he can get the best out of more experienced players too.
It’s most significant for a player like Ross Barkley, someone given his chance for Everton last season and a player tipped to have a very big and bright future with the club.
“It is not going to happen overnight, but it can happen. Over the next few months we need to get together and be a winning side, finishing in the top six is a minimum and we want to improve on even that,” said Martinez.
The head on duels between Liverpool and Everton are going to be some of the best matches in the Premier League next season because it’s a very difficult situation to call.
Liverpool have to be favourites to get the edge over their rivals because they have a more settled team, filled with young, dynamic and vibrant players.
Everton will go through a phase where they may struggle because Martinez will want to change the style of football but that FA Cup win he secured for Wigan last season showed he’s got great tactical knowledge and awareness.
Liverpool to finish higher than Everton but both clubs to remain in similar positions to where they finished last season.
What do you think? Who will finish higher?