Merseyside derby: Will it be a David and Goliath match?
Merseyside football fans will be treated to two derbys in two months. The first is on Sunday in the Premier League at Anfield and the second in January for the FA Cup.
When Glenn Hoddle pulled Liverpool’s name out of the draw for the third round of the FA Cup for home teams, everyone was hoping to see Jermaine Jenas pluck Everton out of the other one. And that’s exactly what he did.
And one person who is absolutely delighted with the draw is Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher.
The former centre-back was a childhood Everton fan but an entire career spent at Anfield has seen his allegiance change from blue to red.
And Carragher is ecstatic at the thought of ruining Everton’s festive period.
When asked for his thoughts on the draw on Twitter, the 39-year-old wrote: “Delighted! We can f..k EFC’s Xmas & New Year up!!”
Meanwhile, managers Jurgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce have put their grievances behind them after a feud two seasons ago when Allardyce was boss of Sunderland.
Since Big Sam took over Everton the team's prospects look distinctly better with them winning their last two matches and moving up a place. So, with the Blues renewed confidence, it won't be such a stroll in the park for the Reds. Or will it?
The Merseyside derby on Sunday has been tipped as the one to watch. So what could possibly go wrong? Well, Arriva bus drivers were supposed to be on strike that day, which would have caused utter chaos.
Realising that they'd possibly cause a riot, within hours, trade union Unite issued a statement insisting the strike was NOT being moved to Derby Day and slammed Arriva for spreading ‘false news’.
But Arriva said GMB, the other union involved in the dispute, DID ask to move the strike. Anyway, it's not happening so Merseyside can take a collective deep breath.
So, having beaten West Ham convincingly last week, the Blues were able to collect back-to-back league victories for the first time this season by beating Huddersfield on Saturday, Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring the second goal in their 2-0 win.
The result lifted Everton into the top half of the Premier League table for the first time since August.
“Confidence is definitely stronger ahead of that game,” said Calvert-Lewin.
“Our performances are getting better by the game, that's two clean sheets in a row, so it's getting there. We have to keep building on that and obviously take it into the next game.
“Obviously with the Merseyside derby coming up on Sunday this was a massive result for us. We go in with more confidence for the game against Liverpool."