Going into the 230th Merseyside Derby of all time, much has changed on and off the field over the years for both sides of Liverpool. The reds will be looking to take a 92nd win off the Blues competitively. The derby hasn’t always been dominant for Liverpool however when the fixture played its first game, Everton winning 3-0 against the Reds in the late 1800’s. The only meeting of this fixture in the FA Cup in the 21st Century came in January 2009. Despite the long waits for the next one on various occasions the next only comes seven years later.
The FA Cup tie however is in for a potentially tough matchup with the main statistic reading that the tie at Anfield, as played today, has never witnessed a winning goal scored going back to the first match these were drawn in January 1902. The score ending 2-2 with goals scored from Jack Taylor and Jack Sharp scoring for Everton and Tom Robertson and John Hunter for Liverpool. The Liverpool Echo even commented how some conspiracy theorists suggested the level scores were fixed. Could tomorrow be the day where this karma is broken a winner is scored?
Ian Rush and Jamie Carragher are Liverpool’s notable boyhood allegiances with links to the blue half however one is taking part tomorrow night potentially with Adam Lallana whom had an Everton supporting father and supported himself however insists per the Daily Star that he was happy when the Reds beat the Toffees 4-0. He later connoted that his memories were ‘fighting relegation’. Aside from Lallana, one man with allegiances with the opponent is Everton’s Ashley Williams whom supported Liverpool, idolising John Barnes. Let’s hope he helps us break the drawing duck on his first FA Cup game against Liverpool for the Toffees.
The top goal scorers in the fixture is Liverpool’s Ian Rush who scored 25 goals with five in the Cup. Hopefully we can run riot like he did against Everton where ‘Rush scored one, Rush scored two, Rush scored three and Rush scored four’ in the lyrics of chant ‘Poor Scouser Tommy’. That will be in the hands of notably Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino due to Mohamed Salah and Phillipe Coutinho announced out of the side. Still enough talent to make the ‘Toffees feel blue’. Dixie Dean is Everton’s top goal scorer in the fixture but only one scored in the FA Cup. The top scorers in the fixture eligible and potentially playing tomorrow could be Daniel Sturridge with four and Mane with two. For Everton, Jagielka, Mirallas and Rooney all have a goal. Looking more likely for us to score the more.
As we all know the game is one of the big Derby’s in football however some of the facts make us seem closer than we are. The Reds have made more transfers with the Blues than any other team though Southampton must be getting closer. 31 direct transfers have made the switch from Goodison to Anfield or vice versa. The most expensive for Liverpool with Nick Barmby signing from Everton in 2002 for £6,000,00. Abel Xavier made the switch also with another iconic factor being he is the first to play in the game two times for both clubs. Peter Beardsley is the most expensive Liverpool to Everton with a fee of £1,000,000 in 1991. Dick Forshaw also made that switch and ironically won the League Championship with both clubs. Gary Ablett was the same, more relevant to the FA Cup, winning that with both clubs of Merseyside.
The friendly derby is all set to light up the Cup and the magic will prevail to create a tightly contested but epic encounter. Come on Liverpool!