In the past decade of Premier League meetings between Liverpool and Everton there have been 13 red cards (including three in the last five) and a staggering 89 yellow cards awarded.
So, according to the averages, there should be four yellows and a red in tonight’s game. You could also add a goal from Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt – who has netted three in the last five Merseyside derbies.
However, the ‘friendly derby’ as it’s referred to, has a lot more riding on it than in recent seasons. Liverpool’s slump and Everton’s rise means a win for the Toffees will see them leapfrog their neighbours in seventh.
Everton are on a roll. Not only are they unbeaten in nine, manager David Moyes’ side also find themselves in the quarter-final of the FA Cup on Saturday when they entertain Sunderland.
Liverpool, however, have lost their last three league games, their worst league run since 2003.
Arsenal’s last gasp winner against Newcastle last night has surely put an end to Liverpool’s hopes of clinching a Champions League spot. They are 13 points behind Arsenal with Chelsea and Newcastle looking the more likely to challenge the Gunners for fourth.
Fit-again captain Steven Gerrard – who looks set to make his 400th Premier League appearance tonight – has already issued a rallying cry to his team mates. “We need a reaction and there's no better team to produce that against than Everton." He said.
"The players need to take responsibility for where we are in the league. It's just not good enough for a club like us to be there. We have to find a better level of consistency. It's important the players put in a performance and get a result for the fans.
"Everyone is a bit down after recent results but we want to put a smile back on their faces," added the Reds captain.
The 186th league meeting between the two clubs comes the day before David Moyes marks 10 years at Goodison Park, in which time he has worked miracles with such little resources.
Tim Cahill – who has scored five times against Liverpool – wants to repay his managers faith. Speaking to evertonfc.com, he said: “For me it would be special to score,
“The gaffer and the chairman are the biggest parts of why I've been at this Club for so long. The way the manager has built things has been second to none but the main thing is his loyalty, and he instills that in his players.”
Reina; Kelly, Skrtel, Carragher, Enrique; Henderson, Adam; Kuyt, Gerrard, Downing; Suarez.
Howard; Neville, Heitinga, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Osman, Fellaini, Pienaar; Cahill; Jelavic
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