The views in these blogs are those held by the individual blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton Football Club.
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Prior to our victory over Birmingham I’m sure there weren’t too many Blues fans looking forward to the 214th Merseyside Derby. But that win, followed by Liverpool’s home defeat to Blackpool has put a whole new perspective on matters.
To be honest after that weekend I was wishing the Derby could take place almost immediately. International breaks rarely come at the right time for us do they! Given the turmoil taking place off the field too at Liverpool you have to state that the pendulum’s certainly swung in our favour ahead of Sunday’s game...but does that mean anything come kick off time?
I believe it surely must, players may state that what’s happening off the pitch doesn’t impact upon them, but look at Liverpool’s form and maybe that tells you it does to some degree, and I’m not just talking recent form either, last season wasn’t exactly a huge success for them was it? Their results away from home were very poor and they’ve continued in that vein into this campaign.
We must take advantage. Everton have been playing reasonably well and not getting their just reward. Liverpool have been playing poorly and not getting results and that is a big difference. Form IS important, contrary to the usual derby cliché “that it goes out of the window when Everton and Liverpool meet”. If I was a player sitting in the dressing room just ahead of 1.30pm on Sunday I know which one I’d prefer to be in. Confidence counts for so much on a football field and Everton players will certainly have more of that. The Blues have been buoyed by that win at St Andrews. Liverpool will be remembering Blackpool and feeling it’s a must win game or else. Roy Hodgson will be feeling the real pressure of not just his first Merseyside Derby but of his team remaining in the bottom three should they lose. David Moyes has been there and experienced it and that will count for an awful lot come Sunday.
On the pitch we could be without Phil Jagielka (I told you International breaks rarely come at the right time!) but I believe John Heitinga’s more than capable of slotting in seamlessly at centre back. Liverpool themselves could be without Fernando Torres and they aren’t exactly overloaded with top class replacements for him.
Our problem, as we all know, has been scoring goals but following that element of luck in terms of the own goal at Birmingham, maybe fortune is beginning to turn. I’ve always said there’s a very fine line between success and failure in Premier League football and we’ve definitely been treading that line over recent weeks. We played well enough at Birmingham and won but as I said to Sharpy on our journey home we played just as well down at Fulham but didn’t get the breaks and ended the day propping up the Premier League table.
But having said all that...you know what’s coming don’t you? Yes, I don’t care whether we’re good, bad or indifferent on Sunday as long as we take all three points...and I somehow suspect you’re going to agree with me!
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