Evertonians will be eagerly awaiting any indications from Ronald Koeman over the fitness of midfield linchpin, Morgan Schneiderlin
What a difference (almost) a year makes. While Evertonians approached this fixture last season with a particularly deep dread that was more than justified by the horror show that subsequently unfolded, this weekend's trip to Anfield will be approached with a very different mindset by the Blues.
Top of the form table for the 2017 calendar year so far, the team gelling nicely under the management of Ronald Koeman, and the uplifting news that an imminent land-purchase deal for Bramley-Moore Dock promises to begin the road to a new home on the banks of the Royal Blue Mersey, things are looking decidedly more rosy than they were during the death throes of Roberto Martinez's tenure.
Yet, trepidation remains for Blues fans who haven't witnessed an Everton win at Anfield since 1999. (How much longer do we have to read that sentence?) Shorn of the energy and talents of Seamus Coleman, weakened by injury to Ramiro Funes Mori and possibly without Morgan Schneiderlin as well, the Toffees will, once again, be dealing with selection problems for the annual grudge match across Stanley Park.
With four goals, three assists and a pivotal role in Koeman's attacking strategy, Coleman will be hugely missed but in Mason Holgate, Everton an enthusiastic and adept deputy who has already demonstrated an effectiveness at right back. He gets forward well and has the natural defensive aptitude of a centre-half.
That is, of course, if Koeman opts for a conventional back four over a five-man defence with that would require Holgate in a central trio alongside Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams. Given the pace that exists in the Liverpool line-up, however, it would need to be a compact and defensively-minded quintet that would limit the Blues' attacking options somewhat.
The deciding factor in just how Everton play is likely to be the fitness — or lack thereof — of Morgan Schneiderlin as he tries to recover from a calf strain. The Frenchman has quickly established himself as the linchpin of the midfield and Evertonians will be eagerly awaiting any news of his availability from the manager at his press conference this afternoon.
The fear is that should he fail to make it, Koeman will turn to Gareth Barry rather than take the preferred option of pulling Tom Davies back to partner Idrissa Gueye in front of a back four. The veteran brings obvious experience but as he showed in the Goodison derby in December, his lack of speed prompts the team to drop off 10 to 15 critical yards, space that the reds ruthlessly exploited in that game. Davies, on the other hand, has the engine and the stamina to go box-to-box much more easily.
Providing Everton aren't as defensive and unthreatening as they were in the reverse fixture, the key — apart from shaking off the psychological shackles — to a long overdue triumph at Anfield will be Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian has been on fire lately and stands on his own as the Premier League's top scorer so its imperative that the Blues find ways to give the ammunition he needs to do what he does best.
He will have a personal point to prove, too — apart from an ultimately meaningless goal at the Emirates in the FA Cup, his only goals on the grounds of the biggest teams in the land have come at the Etihad Stadium against Manchester City. He has an opportunity this weekend to etch his name deeper into Everton history by living up to his reputation and scoring the winner.
Giving him service will prove difficult if the last few derbies are an indication of how this one will go. A virtual spectator as the Blues were humiliated last April and starved of the ball at Goodison in December, Lukaku hasn't really had much opportunity to affect a derby game since he scored the equaliser against the reds in October 2015.
Liverpool play with what can be a suffocating intensity, particularly at home, and they have potential match winners of their own in the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino. It will be up to Everton to mitigate Jurgen Klopp's mandated pressing tactics on the one hand and avoid spending too much time on the back foot as the reds attack on the other.
The good news is that Klopp will be without one of his star players himself in the form of Adam Lallana, while Jordan Henderson also looks set to be ruled out through injury. Both will be big misses for Liverpool and boons to Everton as we hopefully make a concerted effort to start addressing our awful record in local derbies.
More than just local pride is at stake, too. An Everton victory would pull them within just three points of Liverpool and set up the possibility, however optimistic, that they could sit above their bitter rivals come Wednesday evening. That would, of course, require the Toffees to win at Old Trafford and Bournemouth to get all three points at Anfield but stranger things have happened.
One step at a time, though. Let's just win this one first…
Kick-off: Saturday, 1st April, 2017
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Last Time: Liverpool 4 - 0 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Robles, Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines, Barry, Gueye, Davies, Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku
Full details: ToffeeWeb match page
Reader Comments (171)
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1 Posted 31/03/2017 at 07:46:43
Schneiderlin playing will be key, otherwise I see our midfield and defense being over run by likes of Mane and Coutinho.
2 Posted 31/03/2017 at 07:53:56
I know it was an Under-23s game I saw but Jonjoe Kenny has the same style as Seamus so I'd go 5 at the back and bench Gareth. He has been brilliant for us but tomorrow I can see him giving too many free kicks away and getting swamped. We need to be aggressive and in their faces tomorrow.
3 Posted 31/03/2017 at 08:08:59
I'm an optimist though. Barren spells do not last forever and we've built up a head of steam, the manager has instilled belief in them and I've got a hunch Davies, Holgate and Barkley might actually thrive tomorrow. Then we have Rom. Maybe the 𧴜m man might just send shockwaves through the Kop tomorrow and bring them down them down to earth with a very heavy bump.
I think were 5/1 tomorrow my head might say no but my heart says it's worth a tenner against a team who are missing players and have been wildly inconsistent this season.
COYB let this be the start of our years of domination.
4 Posted 31/03/2017 at 08:19:05
The key is a no-fear approach with aggression and a bit of nastiness. We've been bullied and ran scared for far too long and I'm sick of our 'nice boys' bottling it.
5 Posted 31/03/2017 at 08:21:30
Hopefully we'll continue and bang a couple in tomorrow (no reason why not) but I have predicted a nil-nil for this one.
6 Posted 31/03/2017 at 08:41:29
Tomorrow will tell us everything we need to know about the mental strength of this squad, are they big enough? Do they have big personality, are they fearless and do they want to go out and try and win and make one of themselves aÂ new modern day Merseyside derby hero?
I personally find it unbelievable that we are even talking about a 18-year hoodoo in a game that is played a matter of yards away from Goodison Park, it's quite unreal.
7 Posted 31/03/2017 at 08:44:12
Obviously I'd fucking love to be proven wrong!
9 Posted 31/03/2017 at 09:04:06
"Bloody hell it was great, in the changing rooms afterwards everyone was buzzing. If you don't get the result you want then it goes the other way.
But I just can't believe it's been that long since Everton last won there. It is crazy."
Let's hope that one day the visiting team changing room after a Merseyside derby at Anfield will be buzzing again.
Paul Gerrard is right, it's been way too long.
10 Posted 31/03/2017 at 09:10:33
Much depends on how well Baines defends down the left. Gana will need to shadow Mane on that side.
Our centre-backs need to defend set pieces. How many times have the RS done us on set plays? Once upon a time, we were the set-piece kings in these matches.
Young Mason needs to keep it simple and defend his flank allowing Gana to help Baines.
Robles please no silly mistakes. Whatever we think about the performance against Spurs, one of the goals was due to a fuck up by him and I was also surprised Kane beat him from long distance on the first goal.
11 Posted 31/03/2017 at 09:45:13
For years, we seem to have gone into this fixture with a collective in-built defeatism, reaching its climax with that shameful capitulation last season.
The players have got to believe that we now have the squad and set-up to win. They owe it to every Evertonian to start changing history. What more motivation do you need?
12 Posted 31/03/2017 at 09:47:20
Nope. We are. Spurs are 2nd. Same points but we have the edge on goals for and against.
13 Posted 31/03/2017 at 09:52:05
Besides, what Klippity says that they've got a Plan B... that's rubbish because they clearly haven't. Any team who sit back and hit them on the break tend to get something there. Spurs tried to play and got beat,and looking at our predicted team tomorrow, they were a lot stronger. Give them space they will hurt us. Sit back they don't get that space.
It would be nice to out play them and beat them but they've beaten a lot a big teams that tried that. If you sit back they can't move the ball quick enough. When they're move eventually breaks down hit them on the break fast. Mirallas, Lukaku and Davies running at them would cause them a lot of trouble.
14 Posted 31/03/2017 at 09:52:50
Jagielka - Williams - Barry
Holgate - Gana - Davies - Baines
Barkley - Lukaku - Mirallas
As Barry drops so deep, it makes sense; he's great on the ball, then the energy of Holgate, Gana, Davies & Baines in front can apply pressure and push us up the park.
Either way, COYB!!!
15 Posted 31/03/2017 at 10:01:24
Just looking at that form table, they will be the ones fearing us. We talk about a psychological problem with these games, but that's the past. Liverpool have their own psychological problems now, they're fragile and their defence is very vulnerable, and they're now struggling more with their pressing style. All of Klopp's bluster and showmanship cannot hide this.
2-0 to us, comfortably.
16 Posted 31/03/2017 at 10:09:47
If Schneiderlin is fit, great he'll play and won't care about our poor form at Anfield. Neither will Davies, Gana or Holgate. Or Williams too. These players haven't been involved in our poor record across the park.
Rom won't care neither, the form he's in at the moment. Just hope he produces the goods. And the same for Koeman. Injuries aside, I believe he will set us up to have a go at them and will only be happy with 3 points. This is his team now (still in development of course).
Let's be positive, even with the injuries, and hope for a win tomorrow. I'm going 2-0 to us, Rom and Ross.
17 Posted 31/03/2017 at 10:19:39
Holgate Williams Jagielka
Lennon Gueye Schneiderlin Barkley Baines
Not quite a 3-5-2. I'd play Lennon purely because he will get up and down the right, as well as give Holgate cover.
If Schneiderlin isn't fit, then play Davies. I wouldn't play Barry. A booking and possible sending off waiting to happen.
18 Posted 31/03/2017 at 10:21:16
If Schneiderlin is not fit, then, Lyndon's team is the most likely:
Holgate Jagielka Williams Baines
Davies Barry Gueye
Mirallas Lukaku Barkley
We will likely be up against:
Coutinho Firmino Mane
Wijnaldum Lucas Can
Milner Klavan Matip Clyne
I think the teams are evenly matched in terms of ability it all then boils down to the desire.
19 Posted 31/03/2017 at 10:23:41
20 Posted 31/03/2017 at 10:28:10
With 3 points, we still stand an outside chance of top 4. Top 4 could mean retaining Lukaku and definitely improves our chances of attracting top players in the summer. Take 3 points and we put a serious hole in the RedShite's chances of top 4 and that will give them problems.
And what makes it really scary is that I think we actually have a very good chance. It is the hope that kills you!
My line-up would be: Robles; Baines, Williams, Jagielka, Holgate; Lennon, Gueye, Schneiderlin; Barkley, Davies; Lukaku.
Lukaku should be the best player on the pitch and it is up to him to live up to that.
Liverpool do not have players that can compete in midfield like Gueye, Schneiderlin, and Davies can, even if they had Henderson fit. The big risk is Jagielka and Williams are missing a bit of pace. I desperately don't want that compounded by seeing Barry on the pitch.
To cope with the lack of pace, the players need to get their tactics right. Yes, the players. I have no doubt that Koeman will send them out with the right instructions but then it is up to the players to put it into practice in the heat of battle. Get their shape right, control the space, and the pace problem is much reduced. Get it wrong and we risk being torn to shreds.
The second biggest risk is Schneiderlin not making it. I think we can cover for him defensively with Davies taking a deeper role but there is a big loss in speedily switching from defence to attack. Schneiderlin has been showing what he can do as a quarterback and we don't really have anyone else quite as good. Barry can do it but we can't afford his lack of pace. Without Schneiderlin, there is a much greater chance we could end up pinned back.
21 Posted 31/03/2017 at 10:36:00
The combination of Gana and Davies, with Barkley higher and free roaming, could dominate the midfield. In this game particularly, all three will be well up for it.
22 Posted 31/03/2017 at 10:41:54
I'm hopeful even thou we have been decimated by injuries!
23 Posted 31/03/2017 at 10:53:01
24 Posted 31/03/2017 at 11:04:20
Let's just forget about the history of derby games; it's current form and management set-up that count.
25 Posted 31/03/2017 at 11:07:40
It's got to finish some time why not tomorrow and at 5/1, I'll put the blue glasses on and march down to the bookies.
An intriguing fixture, this one. Normally I look forward to this like a visit to the dentist, but much will depend on team selection. Like most people, I hope Barry doesn't start, but brought on with 20 mins to go when we're 3-0 up (yeah right)...
I certainly hope Koeman doesn't approach this like the Spurs game; try to contain them, then hit them on the break, 'cos we've seen that this can put pressure on the defence.
Actually looking forward to this and let's say it the 3 points! COYB
26 Posted 31/03/2017 at 11:11:32
Difficult to know whether to sit back, making less space for them and hope to grab something on the break with Lukaku, Mirallas and Barkley against their suspect defence, or whether to try and press them as high and hard as they will be pressing us.
I suspect Koeman will go for the former and if it doesn't work then be crucified for it. The fact that RS have struggled more against lower league teams than the top 6 suggests they prefer an open game so it make sense to me as long as Romelu has a good day holding the ball up.
Much will depend on the concentration and application of Williams and Jagielka, neither of whom have covered themselves in glory yet this season. Perhaps this is their chance...
Holgate Williams Jagielka Baines
Davies Schneiderlin Gana
We've gotta win there one day.
27 Posted 31/03/2017 at 11:15:59
The three players of theirs who could seriously threaten us, are Coutinho, Firmino and Mane, if we can shackle them, they don't have a lot left.
A bold statement I know, and through blue tinted spectacles at that but, from what I've seen of Liverpool this season, take them, and Lady Luck away, they don't have much else to offer.
The other thing that could unhinge us, is our desire to go in like a bull at a gate because even a fifty-fifty challenge will go in their favour.
I think Koeman knows how much we all want this, and will have them drilled with the right attitude, and in the right direction.
28 Posted 31/03/2017 at 11:31:01
Now it is our turn but they are better at passing through midfield (which compensates for lack of 'bite') and very good at their 'interception' game that compensates for lack of ball winning so we saw too little of the ball. Regardless, it should have been 0-0.
Barkley was shut down (and out of form), Gueye overstretched, Barry a little exposed. Now we have Davies and hopefully Schneiderlin with an in-form Barkley; we have a chance in midfield if we can keep them out. We will score. 0-0 at 75 min and it is ours! The key might be we have to make the most of any luck that comes our way â€“ you can be sure they will.
29 Posted 31/03/2017 at 11:31:52
30 Posted 31/03/2017 at 11:57:00
Whilst I agree we have, I think it's a tad misleading in that we've had 6 home games and 4 away. We've scored 22 goals at home in those 6 game since January 1st and only conceded 3 (all in the one game).
However, away from home, we've won 1 (away to Palace), drew 2 (Boro & Stoke) and lost 1 to Spurs. Them lot have scored 10 and conceded 3 at Anfield, winning 3, draw 1 and losing 1.
I think if Gana can play his usual action-packed game, we will make it hard for them to score. He will enjoy being up against ManÃ©, I suspect, and it's good La-La boy is out as he's dangerous.
Hopefully, if we do sit deep, we can continue getting those quality diagonal balls up to Rom to run onto and cause their defence problems. It's vital though that we keep our discipline as too often we go a man down and then lose our way.
I'm not expecting it to be pretty and, like most of our away games, I expect Koeman to go with the tactic of keep it tight in midfield and play direct then to Rom. I'd like to see Mirallas start as well though we've not seen much of Lookman in recent weeks. Has the novelty factor worn off a bit?
31 Posted 31/03/2017 at 12:00:44
I feel it's important we're set up to attack with Davies, Barkley and Gana in midfield Mirallas on the left and Lukaku up front. With Seamus missing, it is going to be more difficult but I still believe we are good enough to go there and win. Fingers crossed!
32 Posted 31/03/2017 at 12:05:52
We know Merseyside derbies are one-offs so, if anyone can, Koeman can.
33 Posted 31/03/2017 at 12:12:22
Kenny to right back, Holgate or Walsh (is he fit?) to midfield and Calvert-Lewin alongside Lukaku.
34 Posted 31/03/2017 at 12:15:16
Cometh the hour, cometh the Man!
35 Posted 31/03/2017 at 12:18:46
I would love it if McCarthy was fit, he really shook them up in the first half of the derby at Goodison. I agree with most of the posters, we need to go there with winning on our mind. 1-0 to us with Tom Davies the scorer.
36 Posted 31/03/2017 at 12:23:09
37 Posted 31/03/2017 at 12:30:20
Seamus is a huge loss, but Holgate is a great replacement. Baines will be tested, and cannot afford to give Mane too much space. Barkley will be chomping at the bit, after Southgate's snub. I'm quietly confident, but if Barry starts???
38 Posted 31/03/2017 at 12:39:43
Please, just once, turn up at Anfield and don't act like rabbits in headlights. Oh, and Rom, justify your rhetoric when it matters most to the supporters.
39 Posted 31/03/2017 at 12:50:56
He has defensive worries so how will he cope?
This is a real test; if we were to go on a great run from here, we could make or get very close to Champions League. And that would really move the club on a treat.
An important game which will answer a number of questions.
40 Posted 31/03/2017 at 12:56:47
Sometimes the saying is: "As one door closes, another one gets slammed in your face."
I think it all depends on who isn't fit and who gets picked in their place.
I can't see Everton getting less than a draw â€“ no matter who plays.
41 Posted 31/03/2017 at 12:58:29
I don't expect any of the two or three offensive players in our team to be ripping them a new one given these factors. Obviously I'd be delighted if anyone proves me wrong, such as one of Europe's greatest centre-forwards perhaps.
42 Posted 31/03/2017 at 13:03:35
43 Posted 31/03/2017 at 13:13:30
44 Posted 31/03/2017 at 13:19:27
We still need to go for the 3 points. Contain the fuckers then take them apart on the break.
45 Posted 31/03/2017 at 13:22:07
46 Posted 31/03/2017 at 13:25:00
47 Posted 31/03/2017 at 13:28:28
Holgate Jagielka Williams Baines
Davies Idrissa Barry
Subs: Stekelenburg, Pennington, Kenny, Walsh, Lennon, Lookman, Valencia
48 Posted 31/03/2017 at 13:30:02
All our central defenders are pretty much interchangeable when it comes to ability, with Jags and Williams having clear daylight between them and Funes Mori when it comes to experience and keeping a cool head.
Coleman is a big miss, for his character and fight as much as for his charging up and down the line, but this game won't be won or lost because of a forced change in right-back. Holgate has shown he can cope, has pace and composure in his locker and his extra height could come in handy here as well.
For some reason, I fancy us to turn them over this time, irrespective of injuries.
49 Posted 31/03/2017 at 13:36:50
50 Posted 31/03/2017 at 13:47:54
51 Posted 31/03/2017 at 13:51:13
I had been thinking maybe this time... maybe we can avoid yet another going-over... but I'm gutted at that news about Schneiderlin. A win tomorrow and at Old Trafford would simply be a daft ask, but what a season-changer it could be. Feeling sick already! Just for once lads, shock us and them!
52 Posted 31/03/2017 at 13:51:20
I don't care what anyone says (and I agree he did a very good job with little money), Moyes had Everton running scared like a Third Division club playing away at these grounds. Joe Royle didn't give a fuck for reputations and had an excellent derby record.
It's not about throwing players forward like Martinez, it's the mental attitude before you step out onto the pitch that matters. One fact is undeniable, Liverpool thought they were going to win every derby they played in, we didn't. We have to get over a psychological block playing at that dump before we can progress. The key lies with young players who are not carrying any mental baggage from the days of 'plucky little Everton."
53 Posted 31/03/2017 at 14:00:05
Pennington, Jagielka, Williams, Holgate, Baines
Walsh, Davies, Gana
54 Posted 31/03/2017 at 14:09:42
55 Posted 31/03/2017 at 14:21:37
Not saying they're rubbish, but imo it would be the wrong match to try and be that bold.
56 Posted 31/03/2017 at 14:23:06
57 Posted 31/03/2017 at 14:46:16
This manager takes no messing about. And by the sounds of it, neither does our club anymore!
58 Posted 31/03/2017 at 14:46:39
I think managers don't go for it enough when it comes to team selections. Jonjoe, too, these are the lads we need for the battle. Yes, I agree they ain't seen no action, but NO FEAR. It is about fucking time!!!
59 Posted 31/03/2017 at 15:05:58
Go on, Koeman... give him a go.
60 Posted 31/03/2017 at 15:10:27
The team really needs to be up for this one at the Anfield barnyard as we know they will attack with venom from the off to expose Everton's average back four. However, their own back four isn't too good either as some lesser teams have proved at Anfield this season.
Whatever luck is going in a derby match, it usually is not going Everton's way, so they have to make sure it doesn't come down to luck and be totally focused for the 90+ minutes.
61 Posted 31/03/2017 at 15:13:05
I honestly believe if we go gung-ho, we will be playing into their hands. They are a better team when they hit you fast on the break, the key IMO is to keep the ball and dominate the middle, play it on the floor and utilize the channels they leave exposed with the attackers running at them.
They are useless when chasing the ball and tend to dive into tackles out of frustration. Klopp will have them fired up and they will start at breakneck speed.
Stifle them and play the controlling game is the way I see it. I reckon Lookman buzzing around Lukaku will frighten the life out of them, their back four cannot cope with movement and pace.
My bottle's gone already, so if this post makes no sense it's not my fault. My brain's already played the game out about a dozen times today.
62 Posted 31/03/2017 at 15:19:34
In fact, IMO, we are at the moment harder to beat than LFC. So, injuries aside, our positivity should win out. We are on the march, COYB
63 Posted 31/03/2017 at 15:20:37
I'd give them no respect because I think we're better than them and we need to go there for the 3 points.
64 Posted 31/03/2017 at 15:34:35
Better suggestions than that of Lennon as right back, which I read on here. Agree it might be too much for them. But then again, maybe it wouldn't. I think he will go safe with Barry. Besic is fit, but another player I doubt he will go for. I see Ron as safe and pragmatic, without being overly adventurous in his team picks.
Another Spurs selection and tactics would wind a lot of us up. He has just said he doesn't know why we are scared playing Liverpool, but it seems to many, that's was how it looked against Pochettino's lads.
65 Posted 31/03/2017 at 15:48:18
We have failed year in year out with the same old tried and tested.
Look down the years the amount of Merseyside derby debutants that have scored!
Danny Cadamarteri, Duncan Ferguson, Steven Naismith, Andy Johnson, Romelu Lukaku, Francis Jeffers and Gary Speed all players who have scored on their first derby.
Might just be the game for a Tom Davies, Ademola Lookman or Enner Valencia or Calvert-Lewin some surprise element.
66 Posted 31/03/2017 at 15:48:24
Hard to see what other options there are unless he plays Barkley in a deeper role with Lookman and Mirallas supporting Romelu.
I fully expect to see Gareth in the starting line-up and hope the consequences are not another red derby.
67 Posted 31/03/2017 at 15:58:18
68 Posted 31/03/2017 at 16:04:41
I am hoping for a few positive surprises regarding the line-up and formation employed from the start, but it's the hope that kills you, right? I'd love to see some of our youngsters flourish tomorrow. COYB
69 Posted 31/03/2017 at 16:06:09
Yes, Calvert-Lewin seems to have some pace, so I'd love to see him run at and around their dodgy defence.
70 Posted 31/03/2017 at 16:14:24
Time to put this superstition to rest. We're missing a few important players, but so are they. This is not a particularly good LFC team. They're very suspect at the back. They can score, but so can we. I will be disappointed if we don't beat them, and I will not celebrate a draw.
71 Posted 31/03/2017 at 16:42:15
Thankfully I am old enough to remember in the '60s when they came up, that we would go there with no inferiority complex, that seems to exist now. I know Koeman is trying to change the mindset to make our players winners. Well, Ronald, tomorrow would be a great starting place for the new winners' mindset to kick in.
72 Posted 31/03/2017 at 16:44:06
73 Posted 31/03/2017 at 16:45:19
We have to close them down and frustrate them, then move the ball quickly for Rom and Mirallas to run on to. I wouldn't say I'm optimistic, but not dreading it as much as usual.
74 Posted 31/03/2017 at 16:49:15
Gareth will scrap as will Gana and Tom and above all we need fight, guts and will to win. With no Gerard and Henderson injured, they are not packed with fighters, and we must go for them!
75 Posted 31/03/2017 at 17:01:16
Come on, lads... just once, please.
76 Posted 31/03/2017 at 17:37:58
This fixture needs new personnel not the same old shit. People like Barry, Mirallas, Jagielka & even Baines have had their go and they just embarrassed themselves and us. Next men up!
77 Posted 31/03/2017 at 18:00:41
I hope Koeman is developing a winning mentality in the squad, unlike in many of the posts on here. Reading some of these posts, you wouldn't think we were the in-form team of 2017.
78 Posted 31/03/2017 at 18:26:59
I'm not there tomorrow either, usually pessimistic given our track record there but just got a good feeling in my bones this time... could this be the Lukaku derby? C'mon Blues, time to give the younger fans some memories!
79 Posted 31/03/2017 at 18:39:50
A repeat tomorrow 2-0 with Jagielka and Lukaku scoring to match Ratcliffe and Lineker will do, I think.
80 Posted 31/03/2017 at 18:47:13
Over to you, Rom.
81 Posted 31/03/2017 at 18:49:45
The mind can work wonders or wreak havoc, but I'm sure Koeman will get a performance tomorrow. Let them worry about us.
As long as the ref and linesmen have some guts and don't do one, then if we turn up in mind, and spirit, we can get a result. Ross and Rom?
82 Posted 31/03/2017 at 19:09:13
Ratcliffe's wasn't a free kick. It was a speculative shot. But how we laughed. Them wins have been few and far between at that hovel.
Our record is cringingly embarrassing and it's about time it stopped A hiding tomorrow and I swear I'm finished with Everton. I'm sick to death of it.
It's alright beating the likes of Hull, Bournemouth, Palace, etc. It's about time we started replicating that home form against the sides above us. You owe us, Everton... and I mean 'owe us'.
83 Posted 31/03/2017 at 19:29:53
Lukaku 60 mins, and finally Can giving away a penalty in the 83rd min, and getting sent off in the process, Baines making it 0-3.
Loveren reducing it to 1-3.
84 Posted 31/03/2017 at 19:35:28
Playing Barry left of 3 centre backs, with Mane playing that side for the shite, is one of the worst ideas ever.
86 Posted 31/03/2017 at 20:12:11
Holgate, Williams, Jagielka,
Kenny, Gana, Barkley, Davies, Baines,
We need plenty of pace and running across the midfield. Lookman to replace Calvert-Lewin after half-time.
87 Posted 31/03/2017 at 20:25:57
It could also have a big bearing (if he hasn't decided already) on whether Rom is going to stay or go. If we put in two more tepid displays then he'll, probably rightly, think we can't compete in big games and he needs to go. But if we show plenty of bottle and class, it might just make him believe that, with a decent summer window, maybe we're worth persevering with. I just want to see us have a really good go at it and make us all proud again
88 Posted 31/03/2017 at 20:26:39
Hope Barry is nowhere the starting XI.
90 Posted 31/03/2017 at 20:34:10
91 Posted 31/03/2017 at 20:34:50
You're talking shite.
There's no way Loveren will pull one back!
92 Posted 31/03/2017 at 20:43:54
Liverpool have 2: Lallana and Mane and only one of them is playing tomorrow.
Reason for optimism?
93 Posted 31/03/2017 at 20:51:12
Make it worthwhile, Blues...
95 Posted 31/03/2017 at 21:19:12
I know it puts football into perspective but, if Ronnie could give our team some balls then we will win this game and go on to win trophies.
The trouble is can the manager do that or do the players need to have it in there dna
I really hope that our team players picked have the gumption needed.
Maybe one excellent early tackle will give the team the encouragement to have the Hart and fight needed?
If we win this, then our whole history for the next 10 years could change. That's what could be at stake tomorrow.
96 Posted 31/03/2017 at 21:50:40
It's been unnaturally too one-sided for such a long time and I'd like the change to happen tomorrow. I'd like to see us start dominating these derbies from start to finish. No fear. Have a go and give your all. Nothing but your best, boys.
97 Posted 31/03/2017 at 21:52:19
Were Ron to play a team packed with our youngsters, I would at least dream of the possibility of a new derby era.
98 Posted 31/03/2017 at 22:27:13
He was always all fired up for a fight, the EFC players then politely greeted him by name... And he was totally mystified as to why they were not out there for a battle, and as such saw them as being on the defensive already (my interpretation...)!
So we can only hope that Koeman will have put the fear of the Bench into his acolytes, and will then be judging the asses somehow misfit to grace it by the amount of sweat and blood lost during our next game! And then even more so, by the following game!
99 Posted 31/03/2017 at 23:10:23
Holgate Jagielka Williams Baines
Mirallas Barkley +1
Maybe it's Barry with Davies further forward, but I'd like to see Davies play deeper. He and Gana can overwhelm their attacking players, and both have the stamina to break quickly.
Playing defensively is one thing. Playing deep with an intent to break in numbers is another I'd like to see the latter.
Just got a feeling that Lookman could be a derby player. Workrate, pace, skill... they would shit themselves!
100 Posted 31/03/2017 at 23:13:11
Not even going to bother tomorrow - why build your hopes in the same way that lot do (it's our year!) for true-to-form Everton to crush your dreams?! I'm going for a walk in the countryside where I'll be conveniently located to avoid mobile-reception at 4:50pm for the inevitable cockney Kopite texts to come firing thru.
We've got so used to losing to them as much as they have got used to beating us that actually, neither of us really cares anymore... we lose is par for the course as much as them winning... gloating over the water cooler on Monday just doesn't have the same ring to it for that lot these days we all know the script!
101 Posted 31/03/2017 at 23:14:04
102 Posted 31/03/2017 at 23:20:39
103 Posted 31/03/2017 at 23:21:13
104 Posted 31/03/2017 at 23:23:46
105 Posted 31/03/2017 at 23:33:14
We can best them, law of averages suggests it will happen; they're a good outfit when their at it, but so are we. Let's get behind the lads and turn that awful stand resembling a large hope punch into a library.
106 Posted 31/03/2017 at 23:35:10
107 Posted 31/03/2017 at 23:40:29
In contrast, what you've written is a defeatist mentality, inappropriate for a team challenging for the top. If our squad thought like that, we'd never win any games. Cheer up.
108 Posted 31/03/2017 at 23:43:04
Come on you blues do it f the injured players who are missing. Show pride, show passion, show desire, and above... show some bottle.
109 Posted 31/03/2017 at 23:55:13
Just watched The Golden Vision and Alex The Great, and I'm certain that Koeman, will get a result tomorrow. (Could be the ale, talking, I hope not)
That's my inspiration, and also in memory of The Golden Vision, my arle fella, and for this squad, now's the time for a good performance and a win. Swansea, Wolves, etc.. done it, it's our day to make.
Now for honour and EFC pride.
110 Posted 31/03/2017 at 23:58:25
In 31 years since watching the 86 final, I've missed about 9 derbies due to work but seen the rest. I had a call night during the Gosling game, loan closing during the Johnson game. Some college event during the Kanchelskis game. I was in Austria skiing for the 4-4 and the replay. Don't recall why I missed the Campbell game.
In fact the only Everton wins I watched live were Wayne Clarke's winner to end their record run and Joe Royle first game as manager. I saw all the Martinez games, most Moyes bar the Johnson hat-trick, a number of Walter games and Kendall and Harvey's. I think I bring bad luck.
111 Posted 31/03/2017 at 00:00:38
112 Posted 31/03/2017 at 00:02:17
I fancy us for this one, because I don't think Koeman cares much for stats; to him, its all about beating wants in front of you.
113 Posted 01/04/2017 at 00:05:08
114 Posted 01/04/2017 at 00:05:15
No more negativity, it's a game, at our Old Ground!
115 Posted 01/04/2017 at 00:06:20
Get them fired up and spitting flames, Ronnie. No niceties at the handshakes, just stare them down and watch them RS wilt!
116 Posted 01/04/2017 at 00:06:58
117 Posted 31/03/2017 at 00:14:50
Add to that 2 of their more influential players - Coutinho and Firmino - played almost the entire 2 games of 2 very tough qualifying games for Brazil in the same time our better players were either not involved, or played just 1 of 2 international games. The Mersey Derby, on top of their long distance travelling, will tell on them.
Our injuries leave us stretched in key areas, no doubt. It will be very interesting to see how Koeman shuffles and plays his cards. Given the shortfall in midfield and centre back, I fancy he will incur the wrath of many and play Barry. I for one won't immediately despair if that is the case.
Koeman's selection and how he sets up the side will tell us a great deal about his own mind set. What is apparent to me is he hasn't yet replicated what he achieved with Southampton in away games against the top six sides. He recorded many an impressive win - not fluked - away to Arsenal, United (twice), Chelsea and Spurs in his 2 years with the Saints.
We are the form team of the two teams. Forget history. Play with no fear.
Saturday, closely followed by United midweek, is his big chance to make a real impression with the faithful.
118 Posted 01/04/2017 at 00:20:25
Liverpool predicted lineup
Who do you really worry about? ManÃ©, fair enough. None of the rest are ripping the league apart. They're living off a good start to the season, but that was a long time ago.
Davies and Gana vs Wijnaldum and Can? Barkley up against Lucas?
Firmino and Coutinho can perform, but haven't been have they?
Get Rom running at that defence!
119 Posted 01/04/2017 at 00:30:54
121 Posted 01/04/2017 at 00:43:48
Koeman is a winner it's about time you hiding behind the couch shitting your pants with your fingers crossed stood up and have some belife that we are the bigger name on Merseyside...
Liverpool 1 Everton 3
122 Posted 01/04/2017 at 00:47:46
Men behind the ball and play on the break for an hour then push on when the flag wavers start getting on their backs and getting frustrated.
123 Posted 01/04/2017 at 01:11:15
124 Posted 01/04/2017 at 01:12:19
I'm clutching at straws aren't I?
125 Posted 01/04/2017 at 01:15:47
126 Posted 01/04/2017 at 02:10:48
Surprising to see the media warming to us this time around. I'm going to put my money where my mouth is. Hoodoos aside, the odds are far too long.
127 Posted 01/04/2017 at 03:35:08
It's a lot of pressure for an 18 year old but if it's a 4-2-3-1 I would put Tom Davies in front of the back 4 with Gueye, not Barry. I think he can handle it. We need mobility, I imagine they will try & start fast. Barry is becoming a liability away from home.
We need to defend properly & not concede first half. If we do that we have a good chance.
128 Posted 01/04/2017 at 04:37:37
129 Posted 01/04/2017 at 05:53:38
Idrissa will get the ball from them and feed our lads with an efficiency based on sheer simplicity.
They will employ the entire panoply of dark arts, because they have absolutely no shame. None.
We know our history, it even includes their birthing.
They, have invented theirs.
130 Posted 01/04/2017 at 06:14:36
131 Posted 01/04/2017 at 07:05:50
I hope you are wrong Jay. I'm a big critic of Koeman, but he has had most of his options taken from him this week. It would have been easy for him to scream the house down and get his excuses in early, but he hasn't, he has shown impressive dignity and It would be just plain wrong to hold him accountable if things don't go our way today.
Barry's inclusion could go either way. We all know he can be over run, and with the gobshites baying for a red card, he will have to choose the time for his "professional foul" very carefully, but we must also remember that he is vastly experienced and has a great football brain. His presence and wise advice may stop the likes of young Tom getting too carried away. It's a big decision, I'd definitely start him, but I wont be criticising Koeman if he decides against it.
I'll leave the selection decisions to the boss. Like many of you I have a massive decision to make meself; What time do you have that first bevy? It's an early kick off and things could get very messy if you go too soon.
Pace yourself guys. We may have our problems, but they're still shite.
There is every chance you will be celebrating long into the night.
132 Posted 01/04/2017 at 08:06:23
Having said that, Schneiderlin has made a few mistakes in that area recently. I am sure Koeman is aware of the potential problem , so let's hope he has a plan.
Perhaps Gana will sit in front of the defence and with Barry further forward and Barkley and Davies completing the midfield.
The key question is whether to go for a back four or five? Whoever plays at right back will be targeted, but if we want to win the game Lukaku will need support. It will be too late putting Valencia or Calvert-Lewin on if the game is out of sight.
I fear that Rom will have to live off scraps for the first hour. Long punts from Jags and Williams. If we are still in it with 20 mins to go, then we may see Lookman, Calvert-Lewin or Valencia.
For all of the "No fear" talk, I think we will be set-up to survive. I just hope we don't get pinned on the ropes and caught out.
133 Posted 01/04/2017 at 08:07:18
For all Barry's experience I just think he plays too deep to compensate for his lack of mobility, and sometimes this can tend to suffocate us.
Defend deep, but break quick has got to be the mantra for today. Frustrate and Destroy, then we can all have a party, on our neighbours!
134 Posted 01/04/2017 at 08:19:15
I anticipate Barry to start but I don't think he'll be as big a liability with the Shite having no local / British lads playing.
Massive game for the likes of Barkley, Davies, Holgate, Calvert-Lewin and maybe Lookman. Lukaku should score if he gets chances and the key players today could be Mirallas / Lennon!
Darren @131 You're still a big critic of Koeman! Why?
Koeman has brought something special to this club particularly since the clown Martinez was thrown out. The Manager has class and a real sense of purpose; he's part of a massive step change in this clubs future.
You just can't please some people, regardless.
135 Posted 01/04/2017 at 08:26:25
136 Posted 01/04/2017 at 08:34:34
137 Posted 01/04/2017 at 08:38:04
He has kidded us a few times this season when we thought the pace of the game would be against him. If everyone was fit I would not start him, MccCarthy and more importantly Schneiderlin who will be a big miss being out he has to start for me.
We need legs around him though. I would go 4-3-3 with Gana and Tom. Davies has looked as if he may be ready for a rest at times over the last week's, unbelievable amount of games for a lad of his age to play. It being a derby will carry him through hopefully.
They have a decent record against the top four for a reason, that being they are fast on the break and top sides leave space for a counter when they attack in numbers. They have struggled against sides who sit deep(not on the edge of the box). The crowd of tourists and daytrippers get frustrated and it passes down to the pitch.
Full backs will need to play a big part for us today going forward and defending. Most important thing is the message "win your own battle. Don't be on the back foot, let your opposite player know he is in a game as early as possible, first challenge 100%."
How many of us would give everything to have the ability to play in one of these games. We need passion, aggression and a winning mentality.
138 Posted 01/04/2017 at 08:38:18
139 Posted 01/04/2017 at 08:43:12
I hope this is the day when he finally wins you over.
140 Posted 01/04/2017 at 08:52:25
Up front our want-away striker needs to prove he can be unplayable and really is one of the best strikers in football and add a few more millions while doing so.
141 Posted 01/04/2017 at 09:03:26
2-0 to the mighty blues. Lukaku 2.
142 Posted 01/04/2017 at 09:12:28
I was one of the lucky few who were at the Jags Derby a couple of years ago and was delighted with that one. Lots of Kopites wandering round with long faces after his equaliser. For the next one, when we lost 4-0 I was firmly convinced before the game that it would be our last chance for the foreseeable future to beat them. Thankfully, with Mr Moshiri's presence the future looks far brighter. I missed the next 4-0 capitulation though I would have been there if I could.
As for today there's all to play for although injuries mean that both sides will not be at full strength. If Koeman, Duncan and the coaching staff can get the starters head's right and we play with bottle and Blue spirit we can do them.
As is my habit, I'll be having a small bet on Mirallas to score first and EFC to beat them 2-1. Whatever happens, I'll be there to the final whistle, high on hope. Come on Everton. Heads high!
143 Posted 01/04/2017 at 09:32:26
Robles Pennington Baines Holgate Jagielka Williams Davies Gana Barkley Calvert-Lewin Lukaku.
I haven't got the subs, but not sure I agree with this selection. If it is right, and it is a big 'if', there is a good selection of youth and experience in the side. Liverpool are not as good as they are painted so, if we attack them with controlled aggression, let them know we are up for a good fight, we can come away from Anfield singing.
144 Posted 01/04/2017 at 09:43:32
Except Barry is the most booked player in the history of the Premier League!
145 Posted 01/04/2017 at 09:44:11
One thing is for sure: there won't be many scouse red shite there today judging by the vast numbers of Scandinavians etc out in town last night numbers were truly staggering. They were like rats unfortunately there was always at least one within 10 yards!
Good post, Dave (#143).
146 Posted 01/04/2017 at 09:44:26
147 Posted 01/04/2017 at 10:07:30
148 Posted 01/04/2017 at 10:21:30
149 Posted 01/04/2017 at 10:22:46
Hats off to you, mate, for making the effort and going. I think it is a bit like betting on the National. But I really hope they repay your faith.
150 Posted 01/04/2017 at 10:30:23
Have faith fellow blues lets go piss on their parade, COYB
151 Posted 01/04/2017 at 10:50:28
They have injuries, I know, but ours seriously weaken us; I think they will have too much for us in attack.
I hope I'm wrong but that's how I see it.
152 Posted 01/04/2017 at 11:25:27
What have they put up in their tunnel?
153 Posted 01/04/2017 at 11:35:26
154 Posted 01/04/2017 at 11:35:41
Who is the ref - Kenny Dalglish?
155 Posted 01/04/2017 at 11:35:44
156 Posted 01/04/2017 at 11:36:47
157 Posted 01/04/2017 at 11:43:45
158 Posted 01/04/2017 at 11:46:54
Let's show these RS no fear.
159 Posted 01/04/2017 at 11:51:49
Bravo. The side has energy, and threat. Great selection. Forced into it, yes, but he still could have relied on experience and age.
Time for Rom to walk the walk .
160 Posted 01/04/2017 at 12:02:24
On the ball too yesterday, Gary, with your pick of Pennington. I stuck on money for an Everton win... 4/1 great price. COYB
161 Posted 01/04/2017 at 12:05:06
162 Posted 01/04/2017 at 12:07:22
FFS when are we going to get some luck against this shower?
163 Posted 01/04/2017 at 12:08:43
165 Posted 01/04/2017 at 12:14:08
166 Posted 01/04/2017 at 12:14:37
We shouldn't have let Deulofeu and Cleverley go out on loan... now, we are truly exposed for experienced players.
167 Posted 01/04/2017 at 12:17:22
169 Posted 01/04/2017 at 12:20:23
170 Posted 01/04/2017 at 12:25:00
171 Posted 01/04/2017 at 12:31:26
With the injuries to Coleman. Funes Mori, Schnderlin and McCarthy, Koeman might well have been tempted to go with the experience of Barry. He hasn't. He has gone HEAVILY with youth.
Pennington, Holgate, Davies and Calvert-Lewin. Four players unpolluted by years of failure against the Pinkies.
No fear, Everton. No fear.
Let's do 'em!
172 Posted 01/04/2017 at 12:39:54
173 Posted 01/04/2017 at 13:01:11
174 Posted 01/04/2017 at 13:08:45
175 Posted 01/04/2017 at 13:21:37
176 Posted 01/04/2017 at 13:24:15
177 Posted 01/04/2017 at 13:27:47
Grow the fuck up, and then some.
178 Posted 01/04/2017 at 13:46:41
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