Liverpool are preparing to host Everton in the 215th Merseyside derby amidst a backdrop of boardroom turmoil, terrible performances on the field and a managerial saga that has shaken the very foundations of Anfield.
The talismanic Liverpool skipper and joint top scorer Steven Gerrard will miss out after receiving a straight red card for a reckless lunge on Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick in the FA Cup. Also absent for the Reds is stalwart defender Jamie Carragher, who has picked up an injury.
Everton will be without their own talisman in Australian forward Tim Cahill, who is still on duty with his nation at the Asia Cup. Meanwhile, a thigh strain will keep out Phil Jagielka in the Everton defence.
In the corresponding fixture earlier this season, Everton ran out comfortable winners with a 2-0 victory at Goodison Park thanks to goals from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta.
The form of the two sides couldn’t be any more different heading into the fixture. Everton are high on confidence following two straight wins against Tottenham and Scunthorpe, whilst Liverpool have changed manager and suffered two consecutive defeats against Manchester United and Blackpool.
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However, with so much riding on the result in terms of league position and local pride, the game is likely to be a close encounter.
GOT Prediction: Everton to take a rare away win at Anfield 2-1.