Liverpool will be targeting a win against their Merseyside rivals to close the gap between the teams to two points. The Reds head into the match with plenty of confidence, having not lost at Anfield in this matchup since 1999.
"Merseyside derbies are always special to play in,” Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva said. “The atmosphere will be amazing at Anfield and it's the kind of game you really look forward to playing in,” "We will go into the derby with a lot of confidence. Hopefully we can get another win and try to finish the season on a bit of a high.”
One player that the Toffees will have to keep their eyes on is Liverpool’s Phillipe Coutinho, who shined in the 6-0 win over Newcastle last weekend with a pair of assists. His ball distribution and ability to split the defense with clever passing has sparked the Liverpool offense since his January arrival.
Everton will be hoping for the return of Darron Gibson, whose fitness is currently a concern.
Even if the Irish midfielder is deemed unfit to play, manager David Moyes will look to deploy Marouane Fellaini deeper in midfield. The Belgian will provide a physical presence that could lead to winning key battles and disrupting the Liverpool attack.
Despite Luis Suarez’s suspension for the rest of the season for his biting incident with Branislav Ivanovic, the Liverpool offense has continued to find ways to put the ball in the back of the net. Daniel Sturridge will be looking to take advantage of the opportunity to further cement himself in manager Brendan Rodgers’s plans going forward.
D: Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Enrique
M: Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson
F: Downing, Sturridge, Coutinho
D: Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines
M: Mirallas, Fellaini, Osman, Pienaar
Betting Odds: Bet365.com places the odds on a Liverpool victory at 19/20, a draw at 13/5, and an Everton win at 16/5.
With fitness concerns in midfield and history working against them, Everton will be facing an uphill battle at Anfield. The Liverpool midfield of Gerrard, Coutinho, Henderson, and Downing will have plenty of opportunities to create chances. While right back Glen Johnson has looked solid going forward, there is space behind him to exploit, and Everton striker Nikica Jelavic may find a way to capitalize upon it.
Predicted score: Liverpool 4-2 Everton
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League match kicks off on Sunday, May 5 at 8:30 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided in the U.S. by Fox Soccer Plus, with a live stream available on Fox Soccer 2Go.
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