It is nearly upon us. The day when a city divided in Red and blue fuse in a cauldron of Singing, chanting and witty banter . It’s about pride, it’s about bragging rights, but for this particular clash, its about the 3 points.
Everton are in glorious form, much of which can be attributed to the goal scoring heroics of Romelo Lukaku , who has been prolific in front of goal. An amazing statistic shows that the highest scoring players in the EPL before they turned 24 have all come from Liverpool and Everton:
Michael Owen – 110 Goals in 198 games
Robbie Fowler – 106 Goals in 183 games
Wayne Rooney – 86 goals 223 Games
Romelu Lukaku – 81 goals in 177 games
It’s a bittersweet situation for Toffee supporters as they are now resigned to the fact that he will not be signing a new contract. It kinda feels like Suarez in his last season for Liverpool, scoring goals with sniper precision and cheers a galore, but it was an open secret that he would be off in the summer.
Liverpool have a similar scenario now as well, with Philippe Coutinho subject to more interest from Barcelona. Neymar’s been adding more salt to the metaphoric wound, saying Coutinho would be a perfect fit for Barcelona. And we all know that once Barcelona ( or Real Madrid) come in for players of South American heritage its practically a done deal without a pen even being lifted.
Coutinho has been off the boil in recent weeks for Liverpool, “coming back from injury” has been the go-to excuse. Worryingly, he has been surprisingly good for Brazil, which only adds more fuel to the speculation that his head may have been turned already.
Regardless of the future, the present is the focus, and he together with compatriot Roberto Firmino will be crucial to Liverpool’s chances of turning the blue half over. The Liverpool owners have pulled out all stops ( not in the January transfer, mainly just for these type trips) readying a private jet to fly the Samba Stars back in time to face Everton.
In the attacking side of things on the shoulders of Firmino, Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana rest almost all of Liverpool’s hopes. They need to ensure they take their chances because they surely will concede [one…or three]
Ronald Koeman has been brilliant in whipping Everton into a force to be reckoned with once again. He gets the best out of his players and they certainly play for him…which of course might not be the case next season as media reports suggest he too could be in for a move in the summer. Who knows, Koeman and Coutinho might be on the same flight even, with persistent links with the Dutchman to his old stomping ground at the Nou Camp.
Koeman has been giving opportunities to youngsters and has been rewarded for his bravery. Ademola Lookman, Tom Davies, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mason Holgate have not looked out of place in the 1st team and contributed towards Everton steady progress this season.
On the Red side it’s Ben Woodburn, [who scored on his debut appearance and became Liverpool’s youngest ever scorer at 17 years, 45 days old] and Trent Alexander Arnold who have both given academy kids hope of making their future dreams come true. It would not be a complete surprise if one of the youngsters plays a big role in winning[or losing] this most important of fixtures for one these clubs.
So Much riding on it. So much to lose…everything to gain. I’m feeling poetic:
No chance of a bore draw, that’s for sure.
Goals Galore, both defenses more leakier than a Barn door.
Wish we had Barnes though, You know he’d definitely score
Lukaku could and probably would, that’s for sure,
But I’m gonna say that Sadio Mane probably could get more.
Youth on the periphery, experience at the core.
Full of talent…shiny but raw, sliding tackles to the fore, aching limbs to the floor,
so…are you ready to hear the mighty Anfield ROAR?
The Merseyside Derby…one for the city, two for the show.