In T-minus 7 hours and 18 minutes the 216 Merseyside Derby will kick off at Everton's home of Goodison park and I am ecstatic. Airing at 1:30 am for me here on the the island of Oahu, I will make sure to have coffee in hand, pen behind the ear, sitting with my feet propped up. Derby days are the best and even though this one is known as the so called " friendly derby,"it's one of the best around. For those who don't know why this epic match up of the two Liverpool clubs boasts this moniker, I will tell you. It's called this because many families and households are split in their allegiances, so a father and son could show up to a game one in the blue of Everton, and one in the Red of Liverpool. Don't let the unofficial title throw you the atmosphere is electric, and the game often produces a cracker. The Overall league record shapes up this way Liverpool have won 70 times, Everton 57 times and Draws 57.
Liverpool have the edge in terms of history, and after all these decades usually have the edge in terms of quality on the field, but history and form going into a derby match usually goes out the window with the first kick of the ball. Last season Liverpool were defeated in this fixture with Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta scoring the goals in a 2-0 Everton win, a game which Liverpool were without both Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard in a Derby for the first time in nine years. Taking that into account, the recent injury return of Steven Gerrard leaves me wonder if Dalgleish will start the Captain for experience, or to leave him out from the start, not sure on his fitness. In my mock line up he gets the nod from the start.
Liverpool's Starting XI:
Kelly Carragher Skrtel Enrique
Kuyt Gerrard Downing
Everton's Starting XI:
Drenthe Fellaini Rodwell Coleman
Baines Distin Jagielka Heitinga
The key for Everton is shutting down the dynamic Suarez, to do which would stem the primary goal threat. With the return of Steive G I render myself tantalized at then prospect of the influential captain linking up with Suarez- a prospect we have yet to really see. His slide balls will put the Uruguayan behind any defense like a stealth jet through a no flyzone. Dalgleish will go for movement so having Suarez uptop alone with out Carroll should pose a problem for the Everton back line, as the Red's attack seems to create more when Carroll is not on the field.
This addition of the Merseyside Derby should prove to be another classic and I predict a 3-1 score line in favor of Liverpool. I am one to go against my team, If I feel they will lose but not this time for a win is surly in the near future.