While it’s ten years to the day since Everton’s last win against Liverpool, today’s date also has a more profound significance. It’s five years since the passing of a genuine Goodison legend, the great Howard Kendall, who won the title with his beloved Blues as both player and manager.
Some pre-match reading. Andy Hunter, our man on Merseyside, assesses the new, confident Everton ahead of today’s potential season-shaper.
Everton make two changes from the side that saw off Brighton 4-2 a fortnight ago. Allan and Andre Gomes take the places of Tom Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Liverpool hand a first Premier League start to Thiago. He’s one of four changes to the team spanked 7-2 by Aston Villa. Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane also come in. They take the places of Joe Gomez, Georginio Wijnaldum, Naby Keita and Diogo Jota.
Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne, Doucoure, Allan, Andre Gomes, Rodriguez, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.
Subs: Delph, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Bernard, Godfrey, Davies, Olsen.
Liverpool: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago, Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Subs: Wijnaldum, Milner, Gomez, Jones, Minamino, Jota, Kelleher.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
It’s the tenth anniversary of a most acceptable Merseyside derby for Liverpool. “That was as good as we have played all season, and I have no qualms with the performance whatsoever,” smiled Roy Hodgson. The future looked bright for Roy’s Reds! If you didn’t pay too much attention to the league position: 19 out of 20. Oh Roy.
It was also a good day for Everton, who won the game 2-0 at a canter. Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta scored the goals as chants of “Going down, going down, going down” rang around Goodison Park. However times change, and that’s the last time Everton beat Liverpool in any competition. Since then, it’s been 11 wins and 11 draws for the Reds against their biggest rivals in all competitions, and now they’re champions of England.
BUT! Everton go into this match with a 100 percent record this season, while Liverpool are coming off the back of that 7-2 humiliation. Should Carlo Ancelotti’s impressive side win this lunchtime, they’ll not only be slaking their great derby thirst; they’ll also start the season with five straight wins for the first time since 1938-39, a season they ended as champions. Dominic Calvert-Lewin: the Tommy Lawton de nos jours.
Liverpool, on the other hand, may feel they have a statement to make after their mauling at Villa Park. So this is set up perfectly. A cracker awaits, even if this particular Goodison fixture has a habit of ending in a bore draw. Not this time, surely. Here’s to a classic everyone on Merseyside deserves right now, on account of their currently being grifted by The Man. It’s on!
Kick off: 12.30pm BST.
at 5.03am EDT