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Didi Hamann says Everton have slight advantage over Liverpool going into derby clash

Everton and Liverpool lock horns in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Sunday lunchtime.

Former Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann has said in the Liverpool Echo that Everton are slight favourites for Sunday's Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.

The Toffees are currently a point ahead of their neighbours going into this early-season clash, but haven't won a derby since 2010 - when David Moyes's side overcame a Liverpool side managed by Roy Hodgson at Goodison, seen as key moment in the latter's downfall during his brief tenure at Anfield.

Hamann told the Liverpool Echo: “I’m pretty hopeful, but I do think it’s advantage Everton slightly. They’re going well, and it will be a tight game.”

Everton do have an element of momentum behind them at this early stage of the season having only lost the one game - at home to Manchester City - and have put in some excellent performances which have seen them win against Southampton, Chelsea, as well as coming from behind to beat West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Monday night.

The German does think it is a good game for his old club to have, though, given the difficulties surrounding the Reds earlier in the season when the future of manager Brendan Rodgers was placed under the microscope once more. 

Rodgers has yet to win a derby at Goodison in three attempts - with every game ending in a draw - but 2005 Champions League winner Hamann believes it would breathe fresh life into their season if they were to emerge victorious this weekend. 

He added: “I think it’s a good game for Liverpool because if they were to win it, then the atmosphere around the club will change straight away.

“It’s a great opportunity for the lads. They got the win against Villa, which was important no matter how it came about."

It's rare in recent years for Everton to be the favourites going into this particular fixture, and both sides will see this an opportunity to really kick-start their season.

The Toffees' opening has been one that has allowed them to gather some optimism - less so for Liverpool, as a couple of poor performances have really put the pressure on the manager, but a win for the red side of the city could be used a springboard to kick on from. 

There is one thing to consider prior to kick off, though, and that's Liverpool's Europa League clash with Sion at Anfield on Thursday evening. If they win comfortably with a much changed team, they may sense that they are moving through the gears at last, and a fresh side in a derby would be confident of getting the job done. It's certainly poised to be a fascinating encounter on Sunday afternoon.

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