Tuesday’s Merseyside derby promises to provide one of the closest encounters in recent years as Liverpool head into the game as odds on favourites with Paddy Power. Both teams nearer to one another than many would have expected for this point in the season.
Just two points separates the pair with Liverpool and Everton sitting in seventh and ninth, respectively and although this fixture never fails to put on a show, the context will undoubtedly make for an even more exciting occasion.
Everton will surely have the better morale going into this week’s match after recording a 1-0 victory over high-flying Tottenham Hotspur while Liverpool slumped to defeat at Sunderland by the same scoreline.
That being said, both squads are bound to be tired from their weekend matches and the Red half of Merseyside may cope better with the double booking after spending over £100m on squad depth over the past year.
Nikica Jelavic managed to score on his Premier League home debut for the Toffees over the weekend and will be keen to impress his newfound admirers further with a winning performance against Everton’s fierce rivals.
David Moyes’ side are currently enjoying a nine-match unbeaten run across all competitions and will be hoping to extend that to ten before they host Sunderland this weekend in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
While Darron Gibson is still expected to remain on the sidelines with injury, Moyes has no new injury concerns to worry about and will have his full squad on hand when his team make the short trip to Anfield.
Daniel Agger looks set to miss out for the hosts but Kenny Dalglish’s defence could take a boost with Glen Johnson facing a late fitness test.
Statistics tend to mean little in games such as this and without a win since January, there’s no better opposition for Liverpool to return to winning ways against than local rivals Everton.
Everton can move above Liverpool should the visitors record an away victory on Tuesday and continue their 2012 assault on the rest of the English top flight.