Derby day beckons at Goodison

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Everton’s Seamus Coleman challenges Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard during the 2012 FA Cup semi-final at Wembley © Trinity Mirror

With the Merseyside derby looming this weekend, both Everton and Liverpool fans have their concerns going into the game and for both teams the past week and a half has been very eventful.

Many people will say that this will be the closest Merseyside battle for years, even though every derby is hotly contested, but Liverpool’s inconsistency and failure to create chances, coupled with Everton’s injury niggles are sure to make for an interesting match at Goodison Park come Sunday.

David Moyes’ high-flying Everton side were dealt a big blow ahead of the game when midfielder Steven Pienaar was shown a red card in the 1-1 draw against Queens Park Rangers.

It left David Moyes fuming that one of his star men would miss the derby as he described the Pienaar sending-off decision as “rubbish”.

Fourth-placed Everton are also hoping midfielders Darron Gibson and Marouane Fellaini will be deemed  fit to face their local rivals.

Meanwhile, Brendan Rogers’ Liverpool finally chalked up their first Premier League win of the season at Anfield on Saturday, with youngster Raheem Sterling netting the only goal of the game against Reading.

Liverpool go to Goodison with only one recognised senior striker available in Luis Suarez.

With Fabio Borini sidelined with a broken bone in his foot and record signing Andy Carroll on loan at West Ham, the pressure will be on Suarez to step up to the mark again as Liverpool seek to improve on their 12th place position in the league.

The Merseyside derby is always a fiercely contested affair and since the Premier League started the match has seen more red cards than any other top flight clash between rival clubs.

Whichever side of Stanley Park the points go to this Sunday the derby is sure to be as good a watch as ever.

History favours Liverpool, although records do not win derby matches. The sides have not met since Liverpool beat Everton 2-1 in the 2012 FA Cup semi-final at Wembley in April.

As a footnote, it is almost 30 years to the day since Liverpool inflicted one of the most painful derby defeats on Everton; a 5-0 win at Goodison in November 1982.

About Adam Davies, JMU Journalism