Everton v Liverpool - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Saturday 23rd November 2013 at 12:45. Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool.

Odds: Everton 2/1, Draw 12/5, Liverpool 6/4

Last season: 2-2

Preview & injury news

Both sides go into this game having had very good starts to the season with only three points separating them going into to the 221st meeting of Everton and Liverpool. Liverpool could go top of the table for at least a couple of hours with victory whilst the Blues could join their neighbours on 23 points with a victory. It’s the first Merseyside derby for Everton boss Roberto Martinez who has described the occasion as special going into this fixture.

A win for either side this weekend would make a few sides sit up and take notice, and treat them as serious contenders for a Champions League place this season. Before the international break Liverpool bounced back from a disappointing defeat to Arsenal by dismantling Fulham 4-0 at Anfield, whilst Everton played out a goalless draw away to bottom of the table Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

In terms of team news, Luis Suarez is being flown back for the Reds by private jet meaning he should be able to take his place up in the starting line-up, alongside Daniel Sturridge who played 90 minutes for England against Germany whilst Steven Gerrard came through the game unscathed after nursing a hip problem. Kolo Toure seems to be the only fresh injury concern with a muscle injury with Iago Aspas and Sebastian Coates still sidelined.

For the hosts, there appears to be no fresh injury concerns, though Phil Jagielka played all of England’s 1-0 loss to Germany in midweek. Summer signing Antolin Alcaraz is nearing fitness but is unlikely to play much of a role if any in Saturday’s clash, whist Darron Gibson and Arouna Kone still remain in the treatment room.

Given the way that both of these sides play football, expect a battle for control of possession, and we could end up seeing a pretty open game.

Key stats

Romelu Lukaku is Everton's top scorer in the Premier League this season with five goals.

Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge are Liverpool's top scorers in the Premier League this season with eight goals each.

Everton had 73% possession in their last league match, a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace.

Liverpool had 67% possession in their last league match, a 4-0 home win against Fulham

5 players to watch

Romelu Lukaku - Lukaku bullied Liverpool's defence when he came up against them in a West Bromwich Albion shirt last season, and scored in both league fixtures. It will be interesting to see if he will do the same again this weekend, or whether the visitors will have learnt from their experiences with the Belgian.

Luis Suarez - With Suarez arriving back on Merseyside pretty late combined with an early kick off, there will be some talk over whether the travelling will have affected the Uruguayan at all. He has also scored on both his visits to Goodison Park so far, so what price the league's joint top scorer will add to his tally this weekend?

Phil Jagielka - Jagielka has big task on his hand this weekend by being at the heart of the defence that has to stop two of league's three leading scorers. Though he looked a little tired on Tuesday night at Wembley, he should be refreshed on Saturday. Can he help keep Liverpool's deadly strike partnership quiet?

Jordan Henderson - Henderson has become an important part of the Liverpool side this season and will have a big role against Everton. He will be helping Glen Johnson out with the threat of Leighton Baines, whilst at times tucking into a central position to try and help his side control the game. It'll be worth keeping an eye on Henderson just to see how much ground he covers, and the different positions he takes up. 

Gareth Barry - Barry looks as though he has been one of the shrewdest pieces of business done in the Premier League during the summer. He keeps things ticking over in the midfield and likes to dictate the play. Liverpool will be keen to get at him.

Last time they met

Liverpool 0-0 Everton, Premier League, May 2013

It wasn't the most spectacular of derby matches as Everton all but ended Liverpool's hopes of finishing above them at Anfield by taking a point in what would prove to be David Moyes' last Merseyside derby. But shortly after the half-time break Everton had a goal disallowed after Sylvain Distin headed home a Leighton Baines corner only for the referee to say Victor Anichebe had fouled Pepe Reina in the Liverpool goal. Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard threatened for Liverpool but the game petered out and the spoils were shared. Everton went on to finish sixth whilst Liverpool finished a place below.

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