Everton vs Liverpool
The Mersey Derby, Premier League: Everton vs Liverpool is always a special occasion but on Monday it could be a historic one.
With Manchester City’s midweek game against Arsenal being postponed there was no way Liverpool could be crowned Champions before the Mersey Derby, and that’s exactly how everyone on Merseyside would want it.
The Kop fans would love nothing more than to win their long awaited title in their closest neighbours’ back yard, while the Toffees would delight in delaying the celebrations and extending Liverpool’s losing run.
Liverpool’s Eggs are all in one Basket
After such a remarkable season it’s strange to think the Reds have lost four from their last six games. And the extra time drama in Pool’s defeat to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night has been tough to swallow.
It’s hardly surprising considering the Reds’ amazing run, but Jurgen Klopp seems to have fallen into the trap of thinking teams should roll over for his side. After watching Atleti score three goals in extra time he said: “I don’t understand, with the quality they have, the football they play. They could play proper football but they stand deep and have counter-attacks.”
What Jurgen means by ‘proper football’ is anybody’s guess. But for many fans, a well drilled defence, a crunching tackle, off the ball energy and the ability to strike like a snake is much better to watch than tippy tappy football.
Not that Liverpool are ever accused of that. Do the likes of Manchester City criticise Liverpool’s long ball expertise and ponder why they don’t play tippy tap? No…because it’s effective. Teams should always play to their strengths; any other strategy is surely a waste of time and unfair on their fans.
Anyhow, with no domestic trophies other than the Premier League to go for the Liverpool players might be given the longest holiday of all time. The SBOTOP football news have had their league triumph nailed on for weeks and Klopp has very nearly delivered it.
Everton’s long term project
As it has taken Liverpool 30 years to win a title their neighbours can be forgiven for spending a little time to settle into a new era. The appointment of Carlo Ancelotti as head coach was a statement of intent, and after spending the first half of the season, under Marco Silva, in a relegation battle, the Toffees now have their eyes on Europa qualification.
They are one of a group of clubs aiming for a top seven place and are well equipped for a strong finish. But they are having ups and downs; after back-to-back wins the Toffees lost at Arsenal, then they were unlucky not to beat Manchester United in their last home game. But a 4-0 thumping handed out by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last week was a shock to Everton’s system.
Ancelotti has bags of experience, as one of the finest coaches in Europe, and he won’t be worried by that defeat. His team is playing well and there’s much to look forward to. Midfielder Andre Gomes made a welcome return having recovered from his horror injury against Spurs last November and forward Richarlison appears sharp, with ten goals to his name.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is starting to look like the striker Everton fans have been hoping for and he has reached 13, having scored against Manchester United. The Toffees thought they’d won that game when Calvert-Lewin netted for the second time but VAR cancelled it out, ruling that Gylfi Sigurdsson, who was lying on the pitch in an offside position, was deemed to be interfering with play.
Local derbies are notoriously difficult to predict and Everton have denied Liverpool in 55 per cent of their meetings in the Premier League era. The Reds have won 26 of the 58 Merseyside Derbies to Everton’s nine, but there have been 23 draws.
The Toffees must fancy themselves again, they are unbeaten in six games at home while Liverpool have lost their last three away…though it’s only a five-minute walk across Stanley Park to Goodison!
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