Everton vs. Liverpool: Blues Must Beat Surging Reds to Stay in Sight of Top 4

Chris HummerAnalyst IOctober 27, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29:  Leon Osman of Everton celebrates after scoring his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Southampton at Goodison Park on September 29, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

It's one of the most storied rivalries in sports. The game may only be worth three points, but Everton vs. Liverpool means so much more.

These two teams share the same city and will clash in the 219th Merseyside derby on Sunday.

It's a huge game for both teams, as the Reds look to stem the tide on what has been a terrible start to their season, which has them sitting in the bottom half of the table.

The Blues, on the other hand, are looking to continue a somewhat surprising start that has them sitting in a tie for fourth and dreaming of a Champions League birth. 

Despite the large difference in the standing, the game should be close, as always.

Liverpool enters the game playing in much better form than it did at the beginning of the season. The Reds are unbeaten in their previous four matches and have managed to win three of those as they finally settle in to manager Brendan Rodgers' style of play.

Also adding to the fun is that Everton will be desperate to stem the tide against their rivals. Everton has lost its last three matches to the Blues and has earned three points only once in its last 11 matches against Liverpool.

Still, the match has much bigger implications for Everton than just bragging rights. This team has a real shot to land in the top four.

Right now the Blues are nipping on the heels of Arsenal and Manchester United for fourth and third place, respectively, and are still in shouting distance of Man City and Chelsea.

But, if they stumble against a team near the bottom of the standings like Liverpool, it will severely hinder their chances of keeping up with the traditional powers.

Expect the game to be tightly contested, but the Blues must at least come away with a draw in order to keep in shouting distance of the top four.