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The Everton and Liverpool defences look certain to come under fierce attack in Saturday’s derby at Goodison, judging by past and current statistics for shots on goal.
The Merseyside rivals both average more than 11 per game this season in the Premier League, with Liverpool totalling 15.9 and Everton 13.
In fact, in their last six fixtures Everton have only twice failed to hit the 11 mark and Liverpool just once, with the Reds three times notching 21.
One of those occasions was last weekend, when they coasted to a 2-0 win over West Ham at Anfield, which was their fifth victory in their last six Premier League games.
Everton also passed the 11 mark in their 1-0 success at Crystal Palace last Saturday with 14 shots on goal as they lifted the pressure on manager Roberto Martinez after a run of eight matches without a win in all competitions.
Recent history in the Merseyside derby also points to a difficult evening for defences in front of the Sky cameras on Saturday.
Altogether there were 35 shots on goal in the clubs’ first encounter of the season at Anfield, which ended in a 1-1 draw, while last term the figures were 39 for Liverpool’s 4-0 romp at Anfield and 29 for the thrilling 3-3 draw at Goodison.
Daniel Sturridge grabbed a late equaliser in that Goodison match and he is again likely to feature on Saturday after making a goalscoring return off the substitutes’ bench against West Ham following his injury troubles, which had sidelined him since August.
Liverpool are now a much more potent side in front of goal after their early-season wobbles and Everton will hope to have improved their creativity as well with the deadline-day loan signing of pacey winger Aaron Lennon from Tottenham this week.
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