Updated Player Power Rankings

Messi Living Up to Majestic No. 10

Merseyside Derby 2014: Final Predictions for Liverpool vs. Everton

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
Merseyside Derby 2014: Final Predictions for Liverpool vs. Everton
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Luis Suarez could get amongst the goals again tonight.

Liverpool vs. Everton. A day when Merseyside stands still.

For the 222nd time, these most competitive of rivals will do battle once more Tuesday, Jan. 28. And there is more than just the three points at stake. Much more.

Roberto Martinez takes his in-form Everton side just across Stanley Park knowing his team sit just one point and one place behind Brendan Rodgers' men.

Both sides have played some scintillating football throughout this season, bringing memories of the glory days of the 1980s rushing back for many fans.

It adds another layer of excitement to a fixture that is all-consuming in the locale.

Yet that excitement may be tempered just a little with the news that both teams are likely to field under-strength sides.

According to Carl Markham of the Press Association, via the Daily Mail, the Reds are missing five first-team stars—including four defenders—whilst the Toffees' injury crisis is even more decimating.

With Everton not having won at Anfield on their last 13 visits, per Sky Sports, Roberto Martinez could well have done without having as many as nine players out.

However, knowing a win will send his team above their local rivals in the table, the Spaniard is likely to set his team up in an attacking formation and go for broke.

Let's take a look at a couple of predictions for the game, followed by a prediction of the final score.

 

Goals

Only once in the last 17 games between the two has there been a goalless draw.

Last time out, fans were treated to a six-goal thriller and there is no reason whatsoever to think that goals won't feature heavily tonight.

A lack of experienced professionals in-situ could see more mistakes than usual with the likes of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas primed to take advantage of any slip-ups.

Aidan McGeady makes a first league start for Everton and if 6'8" Lacina Traore also plays a part, then Liverpool could struggle aerially.

 

Baines vs. Flanagan

Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Liverpool will do well to keep dead-ball specialist Leighton Baines at bay.

The battle of the full-backs could be the contest of the night.

Both like to get forward at every opportunity and much could depend on their ability to supplement the attack in the wider areas and provide the ammunition from which their strikers can thrive.

Leighton Baines will be keen to reproduce the form that has seen Everton secure his services for a further four years, whilst highly-rated Jon Flanagan will want to continue his rise to prominence.

Liverpool know all about Baines' dead-ball qualities and need to have him at arm's length. Flanagan's excellence going forward and high pass-completion rate should be more than enough to keep the English international occupied.

 

Score

First, consider Lukaku's success in this battle:

As with any derby, expect the opening 10 to be blood and thunder and not for the faint-hearted.

Once the game settles into a pattern, by virtue of being able to call on more first-team players and with home advantage, Liverpool should take this one.

Suarez and Sturridge are still very much in tandem and both should register.

Everton haven't played well at Anfield for some time, and a depleted XI hurts their chances of taking anything from the game. However, in Romelu Lukaku, they also carry a significant goal threat.

Expect Liverpool to take this by a couple of goals.

Final Score: Liverpool 3-1 Everton

Load More Stories
World Football

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.