Date: 26th September 2008 at 6:13am
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So the 179th Merseyside Derby is pending for the City of Liverpool. Scouse unity is broken in the city tomorrow as Mothers and Fathers, brothers and sisters, friends and workmates pull on their jerseys and fall in behind either the Red or Blue section of the community. So who will come out on top and claim the bragging rights for the first time this season. Liverpool probably go into the match as favourites for all three points if you want to be really optimistic from the start as Everton have been unbelievably bad at Goddison and are without a point at home so far this season. However in my opinion this counts for nothing in tomorrows game because as we know the form book is tore up for these matches and the result can normally always go either way.

Both teams will be looking to bounce back from poor results last week against newly promoted sides. Everton fought back to claim a point away to Hull whilst LFC had a worse result by only taking a point from our home match with Stoke. Liverpool will be hoping that Evertons generous defense who have only kept one clean sheet in the last 14 matches will be in operation again tomorrow. Everton will be wishing the opposite as Liverpool have kept clean sheets in six of their last nine league outings.

Up front for both teams it has been a mixed bag. Everton are scoring goals but due to their defense the points return for these strikes has been poor. Liverpool however have not scored enough but their solid defense has meant a better goal/points return as the current league positions show. Liverpool are chasing a seventh win in nine visits to Goodison but something will need to happen up front tomorrow for this to continue. The Anfield faithful wait in anticipation for the Keane/Torres combo to spark into life. Yes we will give it time to gel but a goal from Robbie would be great.

Everton will be up for the match probably fuelled by that wee ginger whinger of a manager they have who will still be talking about the corresponding match last year where the term “robbed” will probably be used. They have a few dangerous players in Cahill, Arteta, Osman and the Yak up front but the sale of Andy J to me was a welcome surprise and may come back to haunt them especially if The Yak gets injured.

On a final note the Merseyside Derby is one of the worst Premier League fixtures for red cards; 16 players have been sent off in 32 meetings, including two in this corresponding fixture last October, them being Hibbert and the other half of the gruesome twosome commonly known as Philip Neville. So a lot is going to depend on the man in the middle employed to control the game in a fair and knowledgable fashion, never getting flustered or losing his control and yes you have guessed it who did we get, no not Mark Clattenburg but Mike”yellow card”Riley. The FA must have thought that he deserves another chance to show that he can actually control a match after his disaster last week during the Chelsea/ManU match but I am sure the cards will be flying tomorrow for anything and for some things that only Mike will know the reason for. So sit back and enjoy and hopefully Gerrard can score his 100th goal for the club this week( as long as it is allowed this time).

Shankly Quote Of The Week

If Everton were playing at the bottom of the garden, I’d pull the curtains.