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Everton vs Liverpool – Match Preview

The final action of this extended Premier League weekend will certainly be worth waiting for as it’s none other than the Merseyside Derby as Everton play host to Liverpool at Goodison Park.

This time last week there would not have been all that much confidence in the blue half of Stanley Park was the fixture computer threw up back to back home fixtures against Arsenal and Liverpool for Ronald Koeman’s men.

Especially as going into the clash with Arsenal they had only won once from their last ten league matches. But after a spirited 2-1 win over The Gunners last Wednesday there will be an element of rejuvenation going into this all important derby clash.

A win for Everton would see them move up to 7th place in the table and they cannot afford to give too much ground up to the likes of Tottenham and Manchester United in their bid to return to European football next season.

For their opponents Liverpool who make the very short trip from Anfield this evening they know that with Chelsea continuing to be in all conquering form they themselves need to return to winning ways.

Prior to last week’s win over Middlesbrough the previous two games had seen Jurgen Klopp’s men earn just one point as they have stuttered in their race for the title. A win tonight would see them return to 2nd place but still 6 points behind the West London juggernaut of Chelsea.

And the three points against Middlesbrough were most welcome as they returned to winning ways. Adam Lallana shone as he put his side in front and from that point they never looked back.

What would have no doubt pleased Jurgen I look is the fact that they kept a clean sheet. One that was earned after Simon Mignolet was restored to the starting eleven after Loris Karius turned in two questionable performances between the sticks.

After Mignolet’s steady performance at The Riverside Stadium you would have to imagine that he will entrusted with the gloves later this evening. With Liverpool’s back line coming in for criticism during the past fortnight a clean sheet is exactly what they needed with Karius being taken out of the firing line.

If Mignolet does get the nod as expected he will be tasked with keeping Belgian international teammate Romelu Lukaku quiet this evening. But it must be said that Lukaku has not been firing on all cylinders as of late.

He managed to bag a brace in the 3-2 defeat away at Watford a week ago but they were his first goals since he scored at home in the 2-0 win over West Ham on October 30th.

Will Lukaku be the man for the big match occasion later Tonight? A lot of that depends on whether he can get the right service, something which has been an issue as if late and one that has been highlighted by Yannick Bolasie’s long term absence.

Liverpool minor blip of results also coincided with the absence of Philippe Coutinho due to injury and although they returned to winning ways against ‘Boro it will be interesting to see how they once again cope against more testing opposition.

So it begs the question who will go on to win. It could be easy to spout the cliche that the form book will go out of the window but Everton have not beaten Liverpool in 12 games making the away side the favourites.

It may be known as their friendly derby but again expect Goodidon Park to be a hostile venue this evening. Unfortunately I think the Toffee’s will come unstuck as Liverpool edge this and move back to 2nd.

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