Roberto Martinez wants his side to have all of the limelight after the Merseyside Derby with him announcing that “We Want this to be Our Derby”. Saturday’s tea time derby will be Martinez’s fourth but the former Wigan manager has failed to achieve a win so far. The Everton boss understands that they are not in good form but will be looking forward to the game. Everton have only won 1 of their last 8 which was last week’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace but being a derby anything can happen “the city is divided with the two colours”.
Brendan Rogers will be taking his side to Goodison with 5 wins in their last 9 after sealing their progression to the fifth round of the F.A. cup last night 2-1 over Bolton. Rogers’s men showed character after falling behind to Eidur Gudjohnsen penalty, Raheem Stirling and Phillipe Coutinho both netted in the final 4 minutes to set the Reds up for a trip to Palace in the cup. Liverpool sit 7th on 38 points, 12 points more than their city rivals who lie 12th just 7 points away from the relegation places.
Liverpool started the season slow with 6 defeats in their opening 12 league matches but since their defeat away at Old Trafford in December, the Reds have been unbeaten over 90 minutes. With Daniel Sturridge finally returning from injury, he will looking to add to his sides thirteen match unbeaten record. Rogers understands that he needs a result in the derby as his side face 3 of the top 6 in their next Premier League matches (Spurs, Man City and Southampton).
Everton have been poor this season with Martinez taking criticism from his philosophy at times through his approach to play out from the back. The Toffees have only won 6 of their 23 premier league games and have lost 9 in the league compared to only losing 8 in the whole of last season. Defensively Everton have had problems conceding 34 already in this campaign while only letting in 39 last season.
James McCarthy could be set for a return and could play alongside recent loan signing from Tottenham in Aaron Lennon whilst Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar are set to miss out. Rogers has not let much out on whether players will miss out but Lucas Levia, Dejan Lovern and Mario Balotelli all sat out last night. It looks set to be a front 3 for the reds but personnel will be defendant on whether Sturridge can start.
Recent games suggest that it will be a tough evening for Everton who have won just 1 of the last 10 meetings between the two sides back in 2010. The last two games at Goodison have seen score draws but Saturday’s contest could be edged by the red half of Merseyside by the odd goal.
2015 Form – recent games first
Everton – WDDDDL
Liverpool – WWLDDWWWD