Everton vs Liverpool

Goodison Park sets the stage for the 244th Merseyside Derby as relegation-battling Everton and title-bidding Liverpool lock horns in a highly-anticipated Premier League fixture.

After halting the club’s longest winless league run in 67 years with a narrow 1-0 home win against Burnley earlier this month, Everton slumped to a dreadful 6-0 defeat at Chelsea, compromising their chances of securing survival. Had it not been for an eight-point deduction for two separate counts of PSR breaches, they would’ve been safe at the start of this round. However, a 2-0 home victory against fellow relegation rivals Nottingham Forest at the weekend improved their chances, steering them five points away from 18th-placed Luton. Beating Liverpool would go a long way to establishing them as next year’s top-flight tenants, though that’s a feat they’ve only achieved once across their last 26 Premier League encounters against the old foes (D13, L12). 

While the last time Liverpool suffered defeat at Goodison was in 2010, taking three points away from Everton’s home ground has been an uphill task for the Reds, as evidenced by a dismal run of nine draws across their last 12 top-flight H2Hs at this venue (W3). After Crystal Palace’s shock 1-0 win at Anfield a fortnight ago, there’s no margin for error, even though Jurgen Klopp’s side took advantage of Manchester City’s FA Cup duties at the weekend to go a point clear at the table’s summit with a 3-1 demolition of Fulham. History beckons for Klopp in his swansong season as he could become the first Liverpool manager to win his first and last league showdown against Everton after Kenny Dalglish. The fixture schedule bodes well, with the Reds clocking up 11 consecutive wins in Wednesday-held Premier League clashes via an aggregate score of 33-5.

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