The Merseyside derby in recent years has been little more than a match between two local rivals. But this year there is more at stake as Liverpool and Everton are fighting each other for the fourth and final Champions League spot. What more can you ask for, to spice up the local rivalry?
Both teams go into Sunday’s game on the back of bad news. Everton have confirmed that their inspirational midfielder, Tim Cahill, is out for the rest of the season with a broken
metat meturta metertars, toe.
Liverpool on the other hand are still having behind the scenes problems as George Gillett has declared his relationship with Tom Hicks as totally broken down. What a mess those two have made of things.
Liverpool fans could point the finger of blame at referee Steve Bennett for the three-goal defeat at Old Trafford, but they should look no further than the idiotic behaviour of Javier Mascherano. The midfielder has now admitted the FA charge of improper conduct, and despite public protestations to the contrary, the fining of the maximum two weeks wages by the club suggets that they know he was out of order. Anyway, that’s in the past, let’s not bring it up again!
Truth be told, the Merseyside Reds are just not quite good enough to challenge Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal for the Premiership this season.
Liverpool must pick up the pieces and get ready for Everton at Anfield this Sunday. Rafa has got two last chances to save his job. The first will be in the derby on Sunday, where it’s not just Rafa’s job on the line, but also Liverpool’s pride is at stake. The second one awaits him the following week, when they meet Arsenal in the Champions League quarter finals. Would you trade jobs with Rafa? Who wouldn’t!
On the other side of town there is Everton, they are having an excellent season, and have been in great form, even though they did stumble twice in their last two matches against Fulham and West Ham. Had they of won instead of drawing last Saturday at Goodison Park, they would be level on points with Liverpool. This shows just how well they are doing this term.
In the last meeting between the teams Liverpool were the better side having seven shots on target, compared to Everton’s one. Not surprising then that Liverpool players scored all three goals in the match, which finished 2-1. Everton ended the game with 9 men, and had a stonewall penalty controversially denied by referee Mark Clattenburg in the dying seconds of the match. Expect to see fireworks.
The bookies believe Liverpool are clear favourite at 4/5, while Everton’s price is an attractive 18/5. Just like the bookies when we look at BetUknow community almost 50% including Liverpool’s top predictors believe that Liverpool will win this interesting encounter, while the rest split evenly between a draw and a win for Everton.
Photo Credit: Sky Sports.
A closer look at the Liverpool – Everton rivalry.