Jamie Redknapp predicts Liverpool to beat Everton, only if they start Daniel Sturridge

Jamie Redknapp predicts Liverpool to have the edge over Everton this weekend.

Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp predicts a tough Merseyside derby this weekend, but believes his old side have the edge.

He told SkySports he sees striker Daniel Sturridge as the game's difference maker, urging manager Brendan Rodgers to pick the returning England international.

The striker scored his second goal of the season against West Ham last weekend, and came off the bench in midweek to help Liverpool defeat Bolton in their FA Cup fourth round replay.

Redknapp, discussing new Everton signing Aaron Lennon, said: "He can cause anyone problems because he’s pacey and direct and he can feed Lukaku some chances.

"However, I reckon it will be the striker at the other end who makes the difference in this one. If Sturridge starts, I reckon Liverpool will win a tight game by one goal. These games are always tough to call but I reckon Liverpool will just nick it."

This season so far, Sturridge has the best strike rate of any striker who could feature at the weekend, netting a goal in every 146 minutes of action.

  TeamMins per GoalGoalsAppearancesMins Played
Daniel Sturridge Liverpool 146 2 4 292
Arouna Koné Everton 175 1 5 175
Romelu Lukaku Everton 258.29 7 23 1,808
Rickie Lambert Liverpool 292.5 2 17 585
Steven Naismith Everton 310 5 19 1,550
Fabio Borini Liverpool 345 1 10 345

Sturridge has a good record against Everton in his career in the Premier League. He has scored against them four times in five games; only versus Newcastle has he netted more regularly, five times in total.

Brendan Rodgers has been slow easing him back into the first team since his return from injury, but the time feels right now for him to make a big impact - and if he starts, it's hard to bet against him being the difference maker against an Everton side still sitting outside the top 10.

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