David Moyes takes his Everton side to Anfield on Tuesday evening. The last Everton win, at Anfield, came in September 1999 with five Liverpool wins and seven draws since. David Moyes will want to improve his derby record. During his 10-year reign at Everton, he has won three of his 21 derbies, drawn six and lost 11.
The two sides are in contrasting form with Liverpool losing their last three league games. Defeats to Sunderland, Arsenal and Manchester United derailed Liverpool’s hope of a top four finish. Everton, however, can point to recent home wins over Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham. The Toffees are unbeaten in nine, in all competitions.
Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt and Everton’s Tim Cahill relish this fixture. Kuyt’s derby record is impressive with three goals in his last four and five in total. Cahill’s five goals is the best return by an Everton player, since the days of Dixie Dean, with the Australian’s goals coming from just 12 derby appearances.
Tony Hibbert will overtake Duncan Ferguson’s club Premier League record of 16 derby appearances, if he features at Anfield. Hibbert is a local lad and his tough tackling epitomizes the fierce nature of derby matches. Since the Premier League’s creation in 1992, this fixture holds the record for red cards (20).
Everton are reliant on crosses, due to the impact of Leighton Baines, with the Toffees register more crosses than most teams (650). However, one of the few teams to use crossing more often is Liverpool (793). Liverpool’s crossing totals and greater aerial ability could see Andy Carroll starting. The Liverpool centre forward is Liverpool’s best forward, in the air, winning 60% of his aerial 50/50s with Luis Suarez (42%) and Dirk Kurt (37%) some way behind. Marouane Fellaini will be vital for Everton; the Belgian wins 77% of his aerial 50/50s. This may prove pivotal when defending crosses and set pieces.
Moyes has instilled a great work ethic in his Everton side and this could be crucial on Tuesday. Derbies tend to serve up poor football, often decided on mistakes and debatable decision. Given the competitive nature of the game, defensive aspects will take on great important.
More on Page 2: Defensive stats continued plus creators…
Everton are stronger in a number of defensive aspects and that could be decisive on Tuesday. Testament to Everton’s work ethic is their higher number of interceptions and better tackle success rate. In their final third, Everton are compact without the ball and cautious with it. Liverpool’s expansive game makes them more open to losing possession and more vulnerable to counter attacks.
Everton and Liverpool boast two of the league’s best four defences. However, in terms of goals scored, Liverpool (30) and Everton (28) are in the bottom six. Upon closer inspection, it is easy to see why both struggle for goals. Leighton Baines, a left back, creates more than any Liverpool player does. This reflects poorly on a Liverpool side that harbour top four ambitions. Likewise, whilst Baines is one of the league’s best full backs, the Everton midfielders need to share the creative burden. The next Everton player, Leon Osman (23), is well behind Baines.
Everton’s injury problems are gone with only Darron Gibson (Knee) missing out. Steven Pienaar will return to the squad after loan conditions kept him out of the Tottenham win. Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is out for the season (Knee). Full back Glen Johnson (Hamstring) may return but Daniel Agger (Fractured Ribs) is likely to miss out.
Liverpool’s home form is frustrating their fans. The Reds tend to dominate games but struggle for results and four wins from 13 is not good enough. The Red’s problem is turning dominance into wins with eight of those 13 ending in draws. Everton’s unbeaten run has provided the club with a renewed sense of optimism. Moyes side’s impressive run of form has seen them lose two of their last 16. Both sides want three points for different reasons and that makes for an intriguing clash.
Everton have won 1 of the last 10 league derbies
Everton’s last 3 away games have ended in draws
3 of the last 4 Anfield derbies have been drawn
David Moyes is in his 10th consecutive season as a manager in the derby; a feat matched only by Harry Catterick and Bill Shankly
This is the 217th meeting – making it the most played fixture in English football