Everton might be reeling from another defeat at the weekend, but Liverpool head into the first Merseyside derby of the season on Wednesday night in fantastic form.
The Reds have already wrapped up their Champions League group and are coming off successive 4-0 wins in the league after thumping Arsenal and Southampton at Anfield in recent weeks.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have won eight of their last 10 matches, scoring at least twice in all 10 in a run that’s seen them win by four or more on four occasions.
They’ve scored a whopping 53 goals across their last 17 in all competitions – hitting at least two goals on each occasion.
But despite the gulf in form, Liverpool fans are well aware that their neighbours across Stanley Park will be desperate to put one over their nearest rivals as they look to salvage their season.
“The Merseyside derby will always be special to Liverpudlians and Evertonians in this football-mad City. It’s life here,” Jay from Spion Kop tells FansBet.
“The rivalry has always been big and mainly stems from the 1980s when we were both competing for trophies.
“In more modern times though there’s been a lot of jealousy from the Blues towards Liverpool because we’ve remained successful whilst they’ve gone 26 years without a trophy.
“Being a Scouser, the derby is still the most important game of the season to win for bragging rights, but obviously games against fellow title contenders like Manchester City and Chelsea hold more importance in terms of the result.
“There are too many iconic moments to really be able to pin down just one, from FA Cup Final wins at Wembley, which we’ve had two, to last-minute derby winning goals.
“Late strikes from McAllister, Mane and Origi spring to mind, also a Steven Gerrard hat-trick thrown in for good measure. We’ve enjoyed this fixture a lot during my lifetime.”
It’s not often that a visiting manager gets a warmer reception from opposition fans than from his own supporters.
But that could be the case for Rafa Benitez at Goodison Park on Wednesday, whose side are without a win in their last seven Premier League fixtures following Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Brentford.
Rafa is a much-loved former Liverpool boss who spent six years at Anfield, winning the Champions League in 2005, though the Everton fans have yet to take to the Spaniard after he replaced Carlo Ancelotti in July.
He’s likely to get a hostile reception if this turns into a walkover for the Reds, though the Toffees can take heart from the fact that they won the last encounter between these two and are unbeaten in their last three Merseyside derby clashes.
However, Liverpool have won 14 of the last 29 meetings between these two great rivals, while Everton have won just 2, with 13 ending in a draw.
“It broke my heart, Benitez becoming Everton manager,” explains Jay.
“He was a legend at our club for winning the European Cup; that’s now tarnished by becoming one of them.
“We haven’t got a great recent record at Goodison really, winning 1 and drawing 4 of the 5 so far under Klopp.
“I can only see the Reds coming out as comfortable winners this time though and my prediction would be Everton 0-3 Liverpool.”
Fab Four: Merseyside Derbies to remember at Goodison Park
When Everton face Liverpool it divides a city for a day but provides drama, excitement and controversy for decades – we take a look back at just some of the best encounters from years gone by.
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