Tuesday sees the rescheduled Liverpool v Everton clash take place at Anfield. I, for one have ringside seats and my mate Mosh and I will be travelling down to savour the blood and thunder of our very first Merseyside derby.
Both these rivals are experiencing mixed fortunes. Whilst Liverpool secured the season’s first piece of silverware at Wembley a fortnight ago, their league form has plummeted rapidly.
Everton have enjoyed a surge in form and are now within touching distance of their distinguished opponents.
David Moyes has celebrated ten years in charge at Everton and has been described as an “all time great” by Bill Kenwright. In an interview with evertonfc.com the Blues chairman said: “David Moyes was destined for Everton and I think that Everton was destined for David Moyes.
"He wasn’t an Evertonian when he sat on that sofa ten years ago, but he is now, believe me.”
Speaking to liverpoolfc.tv Kenny Dalglish said: "It's ten years since he went there, and he's done a fantastic job, and it's nine games undefeated.
"They've done very well and I think the city of Liverpool can be very proud of both clubs because they're representing the city and their respective clubs very well.
"It's a big game and one that both red and blue are looking forward to.
"Maybe if Everton are undefeated in nine, they're looking forward to it a wee bit more optimistically than what they were before we played them at Goodison (earlier in the season).
"We'll just take it as it comes. Form has never won a game in a derby, only what happens on the day.”
Kenny Dalglish’s men will leave the nice sentiments out of the Anfield cauldron tomorrow as the Reds bid to reverse an alarmingly poor run of form which has seen the gap between the Merseysiders and Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal extend to ten points. Astonishingly, the Reds are also eight points closer to the bottom of the table than the top.
Liverpool’s poor run of form has allowed their illustrious neighbours to catch up and Everton now stand poised – a mere two points behind the Reds.
An Anfield win will take them above their illustrious counterparts. Liverpool have struggled to collect three points with two league wins in 11, and only one in the last eight games. Dalglish analysed the Reds dismal run: "It depends what teams you're playing, but certainly it's not a record you expect from Liverpool.
"We'll just keep going in the way we have done. What we've done has got us as far as we have. We don't want to get into the habit of losing games, but in between the losses we've had a Carling Cup victory.
"It's a big game tomorrow. Everybody is looking forward to it and we know how much it means to everyone."
Skipper Steven Gerrard is scheduled to return for his 400th top flight appearance after picking up an injury whilst on international duty a week ago. Also starting could be Andy Carroll, alongside Luis Suarez.
In the absence of Gerrard, the team has demanded magic sparks from the Uruguayan and productivity has balked - his game has suffered beyond recognition.
With a lack of accomplished technical support El Pistolero cannot be expected to be the creative fulcrum whilst also applying the killer goal touch – that role is reserved for Lionel Messi alone and he is supported by arguably the greatest starting XI in world football.
The wholehearted Jay Spearing has always been a favourite of mine and deserves a chance to sit in the centre and allow Gerrard and Jordan Henderson to bomb on.
The other option is to switch Henderson with Jonjo Shelvey. Kenny will shuffle and it may be a moment of magic from Maxi Rodriguez may prove the difference.
The Reds and Blues will face off just four days before an FA Cup quarter final double header, which could see both clubs move another step closer to Wembley.
Marton O’Neill’s Sunderland visit Goodison Park on Saturday, whilst Tony Pulis and Stoke play Liverpool the day after.
Memories of Jack Rodwell’s sending off at Goodison will still be fresh in the memory and will add further heat to the fire.
New signing Nikica Jelavic struck against Tottenham and his partnership up front with Dennis Stracqualursi coupled with the goal threat of Tim Cahill will prove a real handful for Martin Skrtel, Jamie Carragher and Sebastian Coates.
Steven Pienaar will return to bolster a midfield consisting of Phil Neville, Marouane Fellaini, Leon Osman. Width and supply from the flanks will come from Seamus Coleman and the dangerous Royston Drenthe.
The clash of the Mersey giants is an anticipated fixture in the footballing calendar and whatever the result Mosh and I fully intend to relish every minute.
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