Ho hum this could be fraught week. Deposed from our position at the top of the Premiership on Saturday by a team that we… don’t exactly exchange Christmas Cards and general pleasantries with and then, two days later, we go into a game against our local rivals. Add to that another derby in the FA Cup the following weekend and one could be forgiven for thinking that this is the first of many key weeks we face. I suppose if we are to fulfill the promise of this season, from now on every week will be vital?
Will tonight’s game have added pressure? No, I don’t think so, the title will not be lost tonight. No doubt there be even more to pick over with the behind the scenes issues of Rafa’s contract and Steven Gerrard’s “ruck” but these days this seems to be par for the course. There’s always something going at L4 that serves as a distraction from the football and the team must take credit for, on the surface at least, not allowing it to transfer to the field of play. I expect them to do the same tonight because, even though there should no need to, they have had to get used to it.
Everton come into this game on a decent run. This is mainly due to their defensive strengths as all their forwards, with a touching show of unity, have decided to decamp to the treatment table. Tim Cahill, a midfielder, has been ploughing a loan furrow in their absence. However, thankfully we have Torres back to test their back line and hopefully wreak the havoc he caused in the 2-0 win at Goodison last September. In midfield Everton will be further weakened by the suspension of “Hair Bear” Fellaini while it looks like we will have Alonso back.
So hopefully all the factors point towards us? Of course one can never be sure as it is a derby. One also wonders just how Steven Gerrard will react if he receives any abuse about liking Phil Collins oh and the night club incident! Part and parcel of the game many will say but this is Liverpool, Gerrards home town and in his words “rumour City” so it could tweak nerves that would normally go er… untweaked?
Prediction? The fact that the Mancs have now gone top should be incentive enough for us to take this? Everton are a weakened side and we should be, if Rafa’s picks are the ones we want to him to make, more or less at full strength. 3-1 and hopefully the beginning of a good week?
Enjoy the game.
September 2008 Everton 0 Liverpool 2