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Liverpool predicted line-up v Everton

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Liverpool look to continue their good form in the Premier League as they meet local rivals Everton in the 224th Merseyside derby on Saturday at Goodison Park.

Form completely goes out of the windows for this epic clash and for fans and players it becomes more than just a matter of three points at stake but bragging rights until the pair meet again.

All eyes will be on Steven Gerrard as the Liverpool captain competes in his final Merseyside derby before he leaves for LA Galaxy at the end of the season. When Gerrard steps onto the pitch when he plays against the Toffees, you can see how much it means him as he puts his body on the line to snatch the victory.

This fixture last campaign was an absolute thriller and brilliant to watch from a neutrals perspective. It had everything you'd expect in a Merseyside derby; passion, rash challenges and goals. Roberto Martinez's side looked to be rallying to a 3-2 victory, a late Daniel Sturridge header salvaged a point for his side.

When Everton travelled to Anfield earlier this season, they looked destined for defeat as they trailed 1-0 due to a Gerrard free-kick. Late into stoppage time, the ball fell kindly to Blues' defender Phil Jagielka who's thunderous half-volley left Simon Mignolet helpless and scrapped a draw for the visitors.

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Predicted line-up

Goalkeeper - Simon Mignolet

Simon Mignolet has been faultless in the Liverpool goal in recent weeks and his poor form looks well behind him. The Belgian looks more confident when collecting crosses and more decisive when leaving his line. Romelu Lukaku will be an aerial threat from set pieces however Mignolet dealt with Andy Carroll easily enough when the Reds met West Ham last week and the Belgian will be no major threat.

Centre-back - Emre Can

In a frustrating clash midweek against Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup fourth round replay, Emre Can excelled in at the back. He drove out of the defence with the ball at his feet and made things happen for Liverpool in the second-half.

His ball to find Raheem Sterling to net the equaliser was sensational and the German's effort to hit the ball wasn't bad either. Lukaku has been instructed to drift wide at times this term and Can will be more than capable to match the Belgian in a physical battle.

Centre-back - Martin Skrtel

Centre-back - Mamadou Sakho

Right wing-back -  Lazar Markovic

Lazar Markovic will be given a late fitness test after limping off against Bolton with a back injury on Wednesday and if he is available he will be in Rodgers' starting XI.  If he produces his best, Markovic will cause Everton all sorts of problems on the right-hand side with his pace and darting runs and has the ability to produce a moment of magic.

Centre-midfield - Lucas

Lucas missed Wednesday's tie against the Trotters through injury and there is a slight doubt about his fitness. Rodgers will be desperate for the Brazilian to start the game as he has been irreplaceable in the last few weeks.

Ross Barkley, if he is in Martinez's starting XI, will be well and truly fired up to play against the club he grew up resenting. On his day, Barkley is a problem for anyone and Rodgers will want somebody closely marking the 21-year-old and the ideal man to do so is Lucas. The ex-Gremio man has been a rock sitting in front of the back-four this term making plenty of excellent challenges and distributing the ball well.

Centre-midfield - Jordan Henderson

When Liverpool go away to play one of your rivals, Jordan Henderson is always one of the first on the team-sheet. When tensions are flared and energy levels raised it, the England international is always keen to get involved in a battle. His passion for the Reds has saw him become a fan-favourite as he never stops working from the first to the final whistle and always looks to grab himself a goal.

Left wing-back - Alberto Moreno

On the left-hand side, Alberto Moreno will look to exploit the overlapping runs of Seamus Coleman and penetrate Everton's defence. His effort against Bolton wasn't bad but his end product was poor and must improve if the Reds are to get anything from the game.

Attacking-midfield - Steven Gerrard

The script could well be written for Steven Gerrard to smash home the winning goal in the dying seconds of the game. 

That's not the scenario that the Liverpool skipper will want, however, and instead he will be on the hunt to thrash Everton on Saturday. Playing in an advanced role, Gerrard has been much more effective as he can influence the game more and distribute the ball a lot better. 

There will inevitable boos from the Goodison crowd towards him but that will likely add fuel to his already firing belly.

Attacking-mIdfield - Philippe Coutinho

If there is one player Martinez has to plan for it is Philippe Coutinho. The former Inter Milan playmaker has been in frightening form and been a nightmare for defenders in recent weeks. His ability to find space is second-to-none in the Liverpool side at the minute and the 22-year-old will be looking to unlock the Toffees' defence throughout with his quick feet and clever touches.

Striker - Raheem Sterling

Many Kopites would like to see Daniel Sturridge start up-front however he is still not fully fit and will likely come on midway through the second-half.

Raheem Sterling has commanded the position of striker over the past few months and although he is a winger by trade, the 20-year-old has impressed. His goal against Bolton mid-week was a wonderful finish, his technique a thing of beauty to take his volley from a ball over his shoulder.

Sterling will look to use his pace to cause problems for Phil Jagielka and John Stones, dragging the Blues' centre-backs across the field to create gaps for either he or others to exploit.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Everton
Liverpool

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