The Toffees hope to derail Liverpool’s title quest in the Merseyside Derby


Goodison Park could stage yet a further twist in a tantalising title race when Everton host Liverpool on Sunday in a critical Merseyside Derby.

While Everton toil away in midtable, the Reds are currently are just a point ahead of Manchester City in the Premier League.  If the Toffees can pull off a shock victory, they will seriously dent Liverpool’s title hopes and provide some comfort for a decidedly mediocre season.

In their previous match at Anfield, both sides played out a relatively turgid game until about six minutes into injury time. Seldom used Liverpool striker Divock Origi headed in one of the more improbable goals of the season off of a deflection from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford into the back of the net as the game reached its conclusion.

It was one of the more heartbreaking losses for Everton on the season. That clash perhaps marking the starting point of their dreadful form from Marco Silva’s side since.

The Toffees have been inconsistent since that heartbreak with just three victories in ten matches in the calendar year, with losses to the likes of Southampton, Wolves and even Millwall in the FA Cup. They seemed to have somewhat righted the ship in their midweek 3-0 victory over Cardiff City, and hope to carry that momentum back to Goodison this weekend.

Gylfi Sigurdsson continues to be the key player for Everton, as he scored twice last week and has put away 11 goals on the season.  If the Toffees want to pull off a victory against Liverpool, they will need Sigurdsson to be able to exploit a relatively stout Reds defence.  Everton will also look to their big names in Richarlison and Lucas Digne to play key roles this week. Digne in particular, as playing on the right flank against Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who assisted on three goals this week’s in Liverpool’s 5-0 pasting of Watford will be challenging.

Prior to their victory over Watford on Wednesday, seemed to be somewhat uneven with draws in four of their past five matches.  The front three pairing of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino all seemed to be just a little out of sorts. Mane seemed to have sorted himself on Wednesday with two goals but Salah has not scored since Liverpool’s February 9th victory against Bournemouth.

Firmino will likely face a late fitness check, as he picked up an injury last Sunday against Manchester United ,but if he isn’t available the Reds will likely look to Origi to play through the middle. The Belgian scored earlier in the week and will hope to get back on the score sheet with his limited opportunity at first team play.

Liverpool have not lost a Mercyside derby since October of 2010 and will need to come away with a victory to keep pace with Manchester City in the Premier League title race.  Liverpool should likely come away with a victory on Sunday but rivalries always bring out the best in teams and Everton would take such joy in derailing their rivals pursuit of a first ever League title.



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based in Frederick, MD, USA. Multi-sport correspondent for Prost International and Prost Amerika focusing mainly on Soccer/Football and American Football

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