Saturday lunchtime sees the return of the Merseyside derby to the Premier League calendar, with both Liverpool and Everton looking to get one over on their city rivals after indifferent starts for both clubs.
Following their successful return to Champions League action last Tuesday, Liverpool fans were hopeful of a positive result against West Ham, but were left shocked after the Hammers scored three goals and took all three points following a lacklustre Reds display.
Everton too were successful in their return to European competition, though Crystal Palace burst the Toffees bubble on Sunday with an unexpected 3-2 victory at Goodison, leaving them 14th with just five points from their opening five games.
Both teams will be hoping for a top four finish this season after spending big in the summer transfer window, and though early season form often doesn’t reflect league positions come May, both Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez will be hoping that their team will be able to take the three points, and a place in the top half of the table, at least until the 3pm fixtures.
Everton’s front three of Lukaku, Naismith and Miralles have been particularly potent in the early season, and showed in midweek what they could do, demolishing a decent Wolfsburg side 4-1. Weaknesses at the back have cost the Toffees though, conceding 13 goals in their opening fixtures, the worst in the league. Those frailties will have to be worked out of their game if they are to finish anywhere near the 5th place of last season.
Liverpool on the other hand are struggling to score goals so far this season. With the loss of Luis Suarez to Real Madrid, as well as the injury to Daniel Sturridge whilst on international duty, the Reds have only managed 7 goals all season, and are struggling to repeat the heroics of last year, with increased scrutiny on the team this time around.
With two teams dedicated to an attacking style, this game looks to promise much, and if the high scoring encounters of last season are anything to go by, it’s guaranteed to be a great game for the neutral.
Despite Liverpool’s lethargic start I expect them to pick up the three points here, the Anfield crowd carrying their team home to a victory, albeit in a high scoring game.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-2 Everton