Liverpool v Everton - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

Both sides have had a stuttering start to the season. Everton will be looking for their first win at Anfield since September 1999 whilst a repeat of last season's win for the home side would do Liverpool nicely.

To be played on Saturday 27th September 2014 at 12:45. Venue: Anfield, Liverpool.

Odds: Liverpool 10/11, Draw 3/1, Everton 10/3

Last season: 4-0

Preview & injury news

Last season this Merseyside derby was seen as huge at the time, because whoever won it would put themselves in the driving seat for the Champions League places. This time, a win for either side could kick start their season. A point separates them, but at the early stages of the season, they're both in mid-table. The Reds have won two of their opening five Premier League games, but managed to get through their League Cup tie against Middlesbrough in the week, though they needed extra time and penalties to do it.

Everton have just won one of their opening league games, and were soundly beaten by Swansea City in the League Cup in midweek. They, like Liverpool, are experiencing problems keeping things tight at the back. Both sides have only kept a clean sheet each so far this season, and need to tighten up to ensure they have as successful a campaign as possible. This game should have goals, so that probably means it will finish 0-0 with impeccable defending all round.

On the injury front, Liverpool are sweating on the fitness of Daniel Sturridge. It seems that Brendan Rodgers is giving his striker every chance to be fit for the game, but said he won't be match fit if he does play the game. Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho are expected to return from hip and groin injuries respectively. Joe Allen is not expected to return for another week, whilst Emre Can is a month away from fitness, and Glen Johnson continues to recover from a thigh injury. Jon Flanagan is more of a long-term absentee, and isn't expected back until December.

For Everton, they're without talented midfielder Ross Barkley but Steven Pienaar could be available for selection after a groin problem, and right-back Seamus Coleman is said to have a head injury, but should be fit to play.

Key stats

  Possession PercentageTotal Scoring Attempts per gameAccurate passing %Error Lead To ShotTackles won %Played
Everton 59.60 13.20 84.88 4 82.56 5
Liverpool 55.60 13.80 84.90 2 78.02 5

The statistics seem to suggest two sides that are very similar. They like to have the Lion's share of possession and their passing percentage is very similar. Both sides carry a decent threat that is similar in terms of numbers whilst Everton seem stronger in the tackle. However, both sides seem prone to errors at the back.

5 players to watch

Mario Balotelli - If Sturridge isn't fit enough to play a part against Everton, there will be a lot resting on the shoulders of the Italian to lead the line by himself effectively. He has yet to find his feet at Liverpool this season, but against an Everton defence that has made a few errors this season, he is likely to get an opportunity. It's just a question of whether he will take it or not.

Phil Jagielka - As the leader of the defence, he's got a job to do to make sure they tighten up at the back for this one. If the visitors make an early error, the home side could get their tails up, and it could be another long 90 minutes like last season.

Steven Gerrard - Gerrard has come in for a bit of criticism in the past week or so for how he's playing in the holding midfield role. He has a good record in the derby, and after receiving a fair bit of criticism, it would be typical of the Liverpool captain to put in a man of the match performance, and maybe get on the scoresheet.

Steven Naismith - Naismith has been a big positive for Everton this season. He has shown some good early season goalscoring form, and his movement could prove to be a big problem for the Liverpool defence.

Dejan Lovren - So far, the jury is out on the Croatian international who was brought in to be the leader at the back for Liverpool, and ultimately tighten up their defence. Of course time is needed, but any defensive error in a derby match could be costly. A big game from their big-money defender is required.

Last time they met

Liverpool 4-0 Everton, Premier League, January 2014

It was a terrific derby for the home side, and one to forget for the visitors. Both sides had their chances in the opening quarter of the game, but Liverpool took the lead after Steven Gerrard headed home a Luis Suarez corner. Everton went close through Kevin Mirallas but Liverpool doubled their lead through Daniel Sturridge after he latched onto Philippe Coutinho's through ball on the counter-attack. Then Sturridge doubled his tally almost immediately, lobbing Tim Howard after running onto a Kolo Toure long ball. The onslaught continued in the second half. Leon Osman hit the bar visitors, but any hopes of a comeback were ended by a solo effort from Luis Suarez made it 4-0. It could have been worse after Raheem Sterling was taken down by Howard, and Sturridge spurned the chance of a hat-trick from the penalty spot, with his attempt going high into the Kop. 

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