Kenny Dalglish will take charge of his first home game at the club since re-joining when Liverpool host Anfield evictees Everton in today’s 2pm kick-off. The Merseyside derby is the biggest and most important fixture of the football calender; or at least, it is to those in blue.
To any Liverpool fan, the Derby with Manchester United is the most anticipated game of the season, but the bitter obsession with a claim to bragging rights is a lure too great for any Evertonian to be able to resist – and perhaps with good reason.
It isn’t often that Everton claim all three points in this fixture, so inflated egos or few and far between with The Bitters losing eight of the last 12 Merseyside derbies; drawing two and winning two.
And a win at Anfield would see this fixture discussed by blue noses everywhere for the next decade or so. After all, it isn’t often they pull off a win in this away fixture having won just two of their 18 clashes with at Anfield in the Premier League, failing to win any of the last 10.
While our home form hasn’t been great this season, the team – who will undoubtedly be super charged for this fixture – can take solace from the fact that Everton have won just two of their last 12 away matches.
A further boost will come from the news that Everton will be without Tim Cahill who is away on international duty. Liverpool, too, will be without their talismanic duo Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard, who both miss the game due to injury and suspension.
And Fernando Torres, who has scored 3 goals in 4 games against the Toffees, will be eager to continue his fine home form by improving on his 45 goals in 50 home games tally.
Glen Johnson could be sent further up-field while Ryan Babel looks set to claim a rare start. Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel will most likely form the center-back partnership, with Cole, Lucas and Miereles sitting in midfield.
This fixture will come at the right time for Liverpool who will now be looking to invest in new players after the appointment of Dalglish, and a win against our small time rivals could really give us a big boost going into a busy January period.
More exciting than the game itself is the atmosphere that Kenny Dalglish’s presence will spark. It has been a long time coming, but The King is back. Needless to say, a win today will send all the trolls back into their caves and put us in good stead as we look to climb the table. A loss on the other hand, well, we will cross that bridge should we come to it.
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