This weekend’s Merseyside Derby witnesses the debuts for Liverpool new boys Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho. It could also be the end of an era for a few fierce competitors; Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher will play in his final Merseyside Derby game this weekend but the question Everton supporters and neutrals are asking is whether this will be David Moyes’ last derby game too?
In his 21 league meetings with Liverpool, Moyes has won three, drawn six and lost 12, taking a modest 15 points from a possible 63. It’s a record he will want to put right especially as he’s not won in his 11 league and cup games at Anfield – can Moyes win his first game at Anfield?
So Everton haven’t faired well in recent times winning only one of their previous twelve meetings against the neighbours and looking at recent form they’re also having some trouble scoring an away goal as they’ve gone two away games without any goals.
In contrast Liverpool have lost only one of their last nine games winning five, drawing three and losing one. However the league table doesn’t lie and Everton are five points clear with three games to go this season as they aim to stay above Liverpool in Premier League for the second year running.
Liverpool’s Form Players: Daniel Sturridge & Philippe Coutinho
Before talking about Liverpool’s form players we’re going to take a moment to point out Jamie Carragher’s record this season in the Premier League. Carragher has only started thirteen games this season and his record stands at 6 wins, 6 draws, one loss and six cleansheets. It’s an impressive record in his final first team run for Liverpool and he’ll be hoping he can sign off his Liverpool career with a victory against the team he supported as a boy.
Liverpool are without their main threat Luis Suarez but Daniel Sturridge’s goals & chance creation return has been excellent – he’s creating a chance every 37 minutes and scoring every 117 minutes (third best mins per goal in the league for players attempting over 30 shots behind Van Persie and Hernandez).
Coutinho’s outstanding statistic is his mins per clear-cut chance created statistic. He is creating a clear-cut chance every 97 minutes and 70% of his chances are clear-cut which means that whenever he creates a chance it is highly likely he’s either playing a team-mate through on goal or providing them with an unmarked attempt at goal.
The possession win stats for Philippe Coutinho are quite staggering. From an attacking position he has won possession back for Liverpool every 16 minutes. The reason that it is staggering is because you would not expect a Brazilian flair player to work so hard for his side however Coutinho fits with the new breed of flair players that press their opponents – an example of which was the first Sturridge goal against Newcastle last week.
Everton need these two to fire: Marouane Fellaini & Kevin Mirallas
The real key man for Everton is always Leighton Baines. He’s created the most chances in the Premier League this season (110) and the most from set-plays (59). Any corner or set-piece around the penalty-area that Everton win tomorrow will be very dangerous for Liverpool. Although both Liverpool and Everton average 52% for aerial duels Liverpool have been shipping goals as a result of poor marking.
Apart from Baines we’ve picked out two key men for Everton – Fellaini and Mirallas. Both have been brilliant at times this season however both are suffering from a mini goal drought as Fellaini hasn’t scored for five games and Mirallas for three. However as you know form goes out of the window in derby matches and their overall season stats are below.
Fellaini has scored eleven goals and created five goals for Everton this season – the majority of those were in the first half of the season whilst Mirallas has been more impressive in the last few months and scored some excellent individual goals. Mirallas only played the first half in the derby game at Goodison Park and constantly threatened the Liverpool defence and was Everton’s main threat & they’ll be looking for more from Mirallas at Anfield too.
In terms of impressive statistics – Mirallas’ shooting accuracy is the best of all four players compared – 65%.
Fellaini’s possession wins in midfield are extremely impressive. He’s the 8th best player in the Premier League this season for frequency of possession winning possession in midfield every 19 minutes and every 13 minutes overall.
Form and statistics can be analysed as much as you like but when it comes to local derby games everything goes out of the window. Both sides could be in the best of form going into the game but you just never know what’s in store during the actual game.
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