UThis year's final iteration of the Merseyside Derby tells a tale of two very different Liverpool-based
The red side of Liverpool has been resurgent as of late under first year manager Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool
have performed well under the German, even knocking out his old club Borussia Dortmund in the Europa
The blue side seems to be reaching new lows and are currently winless in their last six league matches.
The youthful revolution led by the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu seems to
have run out of steam as Everton have struggled on both sides of the ball.
Everton are still looking for their first Merseyside Derby win since 2010 and if recent form is any
indicator, we may be waiting another year.
Brendan Rodgers was fired shortly after the first derby of the season ended in a 1-1 draw. He was
replaced by former Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp, and while the team struggled initially to adapt to
his fast-paced style, the reds have greatly improved under his tutelage.
Klopp has shown the ability to take the pieces left by Rodgers and put them to good use. Players like
Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge have gone through hot streaks, while newcomer Roberto Firmino
was able to overcome early-season struggles to put together an excellent campaign. The former
Hoffenheim midfielder has been one of Liverpool's most dangerous players this season.
Everton's defense will also have to contend with fullback Alberto Moreno, who presents a dangerous
and speedy attacking option down the left flank. With Seamus Coleman out, Everton will likely struggle
with the speed that Moreno possesses.
However, there is a glimmer of hope for the Toffees, and that comes in the form of injuries to many
Liverpool players. Kolo Toure, Divock Origi, Jordan Henderson, Emre Can and Christian Benteke are all
listed as injured and several of them could miss this week's match.
Everton's injury woes continued as Seamus Coleman is set to miss time with a hamstring injury. He now
joins Aaron Lennon and Phil Jagielka who also have hamstring injuries and all three could very easily
miss the semi-final match against Manchester United. Leighton Baines and Tom Cleverley are also listed
on the injury report and are unlikely to start.
Fortunately Ross Barkley was able to get some time in at the end of the match against Southampton,
signaling that he is beginning to get healthy again. Everton will need him badly if they wish to get a
positive result this week.
The Final Word
With all the injuries and negativity surrounding the team it will be tough for Everton to get a positive result, especially at Anfield. Everton are trending downward while Liverpool are riding high after a huge
win in the Europa League.
If there is one league game that Everton need to show up for, it's the
Merseyside Derby. The best I can hope for at this point is a competitive game like we usually see from
these two teams.
Predicted Starting XI: Robles, Oviedo, Funes Mori, Jagielka, Stones, Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas, Barkley,