The Liverpool vs Everton match will take place this Tuesday, January 28, 2014 (12:00 PM Pacific, 20:00 GMT) at Anfield. The clash referred to as ‘The friendly Derby’ has certainly turned into one of the most fiercely contested match-ups in the Premier League in recent times. The Merseyside derby is the longest running derby in the English top-flight and has produced the most number of red-cards since the inception of the Premier League.
As history suggests, the midweek skirmish between Liverpool and Everton should be a similarly feisty affair. The clash on Tuesday night is arguably one of the most eagerly anticipated in recent memory and with both sides heading into the game in fine form, the match certainly has the potential to be a modern day classic.
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League home matches and their record against Everton at Anfield is very good as well. However, Rodgers will be aware of the fact that the form-book goes out of the window in such matches, which involves so much pride and passion.
Everton are similarly on a good run, having been unbeaten in their last seven away games. So, even statistically, there is very little to choose between the two teams and it is almost impossible to predict who will emerge victorious on the day.
Liverpool have been decimated by injuries recently. The likes of Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Mamadou Sakho and Joe Allen could all be missing for the clash due to various injury problems.
Young Jon Flanagan could return to the starting line-up though and take the place of Martin Kelly at right back with the trio of Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure and Aly Cissokho probably retaining their place in defence. Simon Mignolet will start in goal after being handed a rest in weekend.
Rodgers may have to shuffle his midfield around due to the possible absence of Lucas and Allen, which means that Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson could be accompanied by Philippe Coutinho in midfield, with Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge probably starting in the wide positions. Luis Suarez will start up front and the Uruguayan will be provided support from the likes of Sturridge and Sterling.
Everton also have injury problems of their own heading into the game. Antolin Alcaraz, Ross Barkley, Gerard Deulofeu, Darron Gibson, Arouna Koné and Bryan Oviedo are all definitely ruled out of the clash.
Seamus Coleman and Sylvain Distin are struggling with injuries as well and are rated as doubts. If Coleman and Distin are not fit in time for the match, then Tony Hibbert and John Stones are likely to deputize for the duo in defence, with Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines completing the back four. Tim Howard will return between the sticks, in place of Joel Robles.
James McCarthy, Gareth Barry and Leon Osman will probably start in midfield, while Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas could get the nod to start on the wide positions with new signing Aiden McGeady also in contention. Romelu Lukaku, who has a great record against Liverpool, will lead the line for the Toffees while new signing Lacina Traore will be handed a place on the bench.
Liverpool (Probable XI): Mignolet; Cissokho, Skrtel, Toure, Flanagan; Sturridge, Henderson, Gerrard, Coutinho, Sterling; Suarez
Everton (Probable XI): Howard; Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Hibbert; Naismith, McCarthy, Barry, Osman, Mirallas; Lukaku
Liverpool: W W W D W
Everton: D W W D W
Liverpool vs Everton Prediction
There is absolutely nothing to choose between the two sides. Both teams are in great form, fluid in attack and are led by two brilliant young managers. Everton possibly have a stronger defence but Liverpool posses home advantage.
It is a bit of shame that injuries have meant that both sides will not be able to field their strongest sides on the day but that will surely not affect the intensity of the game. In terms of the Premier League table, three points is at stake, which could go a long way in either side’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, but everyone is well aware that the Merseyside derby is not just about the points.
It will surely be an amazing occasion with a magical atmosphere being created inside Anfield and the match will hopefully not disappoint. A high scoring draw might be the likely outcome. The prediction is Liverpool 2 – 2 Everton
Liverpool vs Everton TV Info
The match will be televised on NBC Sports Network (USA), and BT Sport 1 (UK).