On Sunday afternoon, Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton clash in the local derby at Anfield. The rivalry is one of the oldest in the history of the English top-flight. In recent years, Liverpool have dominated the clash.
The Reds are now unbeaten in 14 games against the Toffees. The run has caused misery for the fans on the blue side of the Mersey divide. Unfortunately, that run shows no signs of abating this weekend.
Liverpool’s attack is just frightening
Liverpool have been a frightening attack force for opposition sides of late. I hate to admit it as an Evertonian, but Jurgen Klopp’s side are lethal in front of goal. The front four of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah just cannot stop scoring at the minute.
A 7-0 mauling of Spartak Moscow in the Champions League in midweek was the eighth time in nine games in all competitions that the Reds have scored at least three goals.
All four of the Reds forward players got on the scoresheet against Spartak, with Coutinho scoring a hat-trick and Mane bagging a brace. Quite simply, Liverpool look unstoppable going forward. It is hard to see any team stopping Liverpool from scoring in the near future.
Recent improvement may not be enough
Everton’s early season terrible form has ended in recent games. The Toffees have won three straight games in all competitions and not conceded a goal. They look like a different team.
Some would put the improvement down to the appointment of Sam Allardyce as boss. However, the experienced boss was not in the dugout for the West Ham win and Craig Shakespeare was in charge of Thursday win at Apollon, as Allardyce stayed at home to attend a medical appointment.
Whoever has been responsible for the defensive improvement at Everton of late, the Toffees are certainly not as vulnerable at the back as earlier in the season.
However, for all their defensive improvement, Liverpool still poses a major attacking threat. No doubt, Sam Allardyce will start the game with a very defensive set-up . He will be hoping to hit Klopp’s team on the counter-attack or from set pieces.
Allardyce has recently stated that he would have preferred this game to have come a few months down the line in his reign as Everton. The veteran boss has not had enough time to get his ideas across properly to his players.
Allardyce’s sides are famously hard to break down. He prides himself on producing teams that keep clean sheets and are hard to beat. Everton have become harder to beat in the last few weeks.
However, how much of an effect Allardyce can have on his team’s performance at Anfield is unclear.
Liverpool are hot favourites
Unsurprising considering their recent results, Liverpool are hot favourites to win this clash at 3/10, while you can back the Toffees at 10/1.
Everton fans have an inferiority complex when it has come to recent Merseyside derbies. Even when there has not been much difference in terms of quality or form in the teams, the Everton players seem to freeze under the pressure of the derby.
The player’s poor performances and habit of collapsing in the local derby has understandably led to pessimism among Evertonian’s about the derby. The boys in blue have let the fans down. The derby is now a game that some Everton fans dread.
It is more than just bragging rights on Merseyside. Everton fans just want their team to reclaim some pride, as some of the recent displays against Liverpool have been poor, to say the least.
Unfortunately for Everton fans, it seems unlikely that their team will be restoring pride this weekend, as Liverpool’s attacking firepower may just prove too much for the Toffees.
Who will win this weekend’s Merseyside derby?
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