The Statistics: Toffees aim to leave Reds stuck in Mersey mire

By Brian Sears
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The Independent Football

It is an irony for Everton supporters that as their position in the Premier League has improved in recent years so they have found it harder to gain points from arch-rivals Liverpool (who they face in today's lunch-time kick-off). In the first eight seasons of the Premier League era, in 16 local derbies, Everton gained 25 points and only allowed Liverpool 16. But in the last eight seasons Everton have gained just 10 points, allowing Liverpool 34. David Moyes has only won twice from 12 Merseyside derbies during his tenure at Goodison Park, two and four seasons ago. Rafael Benitez has in turn plotted five derby victories in his eight attempts.

Over the whole of the Premier League era the clubs are level pegging at Goodison. both having claimed six victories with four games drawn. Everton have yet to record a Premier League double over Liverpool, a feat the Reds have claimed on three occasions, including two in the last three seasons.

The Toffees enjoyed an unbeaten season against their neighbours two seasons ago, including a 3-0 win at Goodison Park. Last year's corresponding fixture proved a fiery encounter, Rafael Bentiez's side emerging victorious thanks to two second-half Dirk Kuyt penalties in a match that saw Everton finish with nine men.

David Moyes' side have only finished above Liverpool once in the Premier League, finishing fourth to the Reds' fifth in 2005. Everton's subsequent Champions League campaign proved short-lived, however, exitting to Villarreal in the qualifying stages.

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