by Priyasha Bhowmik (@lfcpriya11)
A derby with history and tradition – and usually Red topples Blue
The Merseyside Derby is the oldest derby in English football; 128 – yes, ONE-HUNDRED-AND-TWENTY-EIGHT – .years old. Dubbed the “Friendly Derby”, it is one of the few derbies where you’ll see rival fans sit amongst eachother; red mixing with blue; blue mixing with red. (In Covid-free times, of course!)
That being said, the rivalry turned more aggressive and bitter in the 1980s. In fact, the “friendly derby” tagline is a little missleading nowadays as no other fixture in Premier League history has seen more red cards.
Facts and stats
- Liverpool have won 93 of the 234 matches between the two clubs. Everton, by comparison, have won 66, drawing 75.
- Liverpool legend, Welshman, and boyhood Everton fan, Ian Rush, is the fixture’s all-time leading goalscorer, netting 25 times in Liverpool red. In the Premier League era (i.e. since 1992), Steven Gerrard is the record-holder, with nine goals to his name.
- The fact Liverpool’s Anfield (which was incidentally Everton’s home until 1892) and Everton’s Goodison Park are separated by a path of grass – Stanley Park – is an exemplification of its uniqueness.
- And another interesting side note is that if transfer business is conducted between the two clubs, it is referred to as “crossing the park”; Gary Abett – red to blue – was the last player to make the short switch in 1992.
Liverpool come into the 235th Merseyside Derby off the back of an unprecedented 7-2 defeat – to Aston Villa – after a run of 3 straight wins. It was the defending Champions’ worst defeat in over 70 years.
Everton, on the other hand, are top of the league and flying after four wins from four (the Toffee’s best start to a league campaign since 1969-70). And for only the second time in the club’s history have won their opening seven games of a season (in all competitions), a feat previously achieved in 1894-95.
Everton remain one of just two teams in the Premier League defending a 100% record. The other? Aston Villa…
The Toffees, brimming with confidence, are hoping to secure their first win over Liverpool since the 17 October 2010 (ten years ago). Incidentally, this derby falls on the exact same day and month – 17th October.
Since that defeat, Liverpool have won 11 and drawn 11 against Everton in all competitions, with 8 of those draws coming at Goodison Park. Since 2015, Liverpool have drawn 4 of their 5 visits.
Talking Points Before The Match
With Liverpool’s first choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker out for 5-6 weeks, Klopp will no doubt be hoping no.2 Adrian has recovered from his dismal display at Villa Park. However, the Reds are boosted by the return of Jordan Henderson, Sadio Mane, Joel Matip and new signing, Thiago Alcantara.
On the other side of Stanley Park, new signings James Rodriguez, Allan Marques Loureiro and Abdoulaye Doucouré – and goal machine Dominic Calvert-Lewin (6 goals in 4 games) – are all expected to start. And with Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, Everton fans will be confident of accruing a big three points against their merseyside neighbours.