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Can Rooney bring back Everton’s Dogs of War spirit?

Last updated: January 4, 2018 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Friday, 19:55
Venue: Anfield
Coverage: BBC Sport
Home Team Form: WDWWW
Away Team Form: WDDLL
Last Meeting: Liverpool 1 – 1 Everton
Competition: FA Cup

One city, two teams. The Merseyside Derby is one of the most iconic games in the football schedule. It may have lost some of its lustre, but it will still be seen as the highlight of the FA Cup Third Round this Friday.

There was a time that this was the biggest game in the footballing calendar. In the 80s, Merseyside was regarded as a forgotten part of the country under Thatcher, but both teams still managed to share eighteen trophies between them, including the First Division eight times.

Additionally, the matches between them, although in Liverpool’s favour, were rather evenly matched. Everton fared even better in the 90s thanks to their “Dogs of War” approach – sharing the amount of wins in the fixture. Nevertheless, since heavy tackles, the main feature of a derby match, now result in quicker cautions, Everton have struggled to gain points against the Reds. In fact, the last time they registered a win at Anfield was back in 1999.

There has been a negative feeling among The Toffees when it comes to playing Liverpool away. They will need to rediscover their Dogs of War approach if they want to get on the scoresheet on Friday. One sensible approach, if they do feel so threatened by the fans in The Kop singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, is to play for the draw and hope for a better result in the replay. One thing they might be boosted by is Salah’s recent injury – with the star-man probably rested, they will have an easier job of containing the Reds. They need to defend extremely well, and hope for the promising duo of Calvert-Lewin and Wayne Rooney to nick a goal. Rooney has performed much better than expected upon his return to his first club, with ten goals in 18 Premier League appearances. A fiercely passionate player with a personal investment in the fixture, he could be the difference that Everton have recently lacked. Picking him is the choice Allardyce needs to make over Martinez’s hitherto negative approach of resting local players in this fixture.

It won’t be easy however. Despite their many injuries, we expect Liverpool to get ahead courtesy of the brilliance of both Firmino and Mané. This is the only realistic trophy they can win this year (no offence to their Champions League hopes) so they will probably play a strong team. They should win, even if it won’t be by much.

Team News

Rumours are abounding once again that Coutinho will move to Barcelona, offers seemingly ranging from £100 – £133 million.

Virgil van Dijk has finally moved to Liverpool for a record £75 million for a defender. He should start on Friday.

The transfer of Besiktas’ Cenk Tosum to Everton looks all but a done deal – with £27 million agreed for the striker.

Everton look like they will cut Brendan Galloway’s loan season at Sunderland short and bring him back to the club.

Expected Line-Ups:

Liverpool (4-3-3): Mignolet; Gomez, Lovren, van Dijk, Flanagan; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Coutinho; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mané, Firmino
Subs: Karius, Milner, Alexander-Arnold, Can, Matip, Solanke, Klavan
Injured: Moreno, Henderson, Bogdan, Clyne, Grujic
Doubtful: Salah, Sturridge, Coutinho
Not available:
Everton (4-5-1): Pickford; Kenny, Keane, Jagielka, Martina; Gueye, Davies, Lennon, Rooney, Sigurdsson; Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Robles, Holgate, McCarthy, Schneiderlin, Vlasie, Bolasie, Niasse
Injured: Baines, Stekelenburg, Barkley, Funes Mori, Coleman
Not available:

Last FA Cup Campaign

. . .
Liverpool’s Last FA Cup Campaign Everton’s Last FA Cup Campaign
Fourth Round Stage Reached Third Round
1 (1) Wins (away) 0 (0)
1 – 0 vs. Plymouth Argyle Biggest Win
1 (0) Draws (away)
1 – 2 vs Wolves KO’d by 1 – 2 vs Leicester City
Leiva, Origi (1) Top Goal Scorer Lukaku (1)
Y4, R0 Discipline Y1, R0
1 Failures to Score 0
2 Clean Sheets 0
33%% Both Teams to Score Games 100%
33% Over 2.5 Goals 100%
66% Under 2.5 Goals 0%
  • The last match up between the two saw Lovren give away a penalty. Can we expect a similar costly mistake here?
  • Neither team did particularly well in the FA Cup last season; Everton bowing out after one round, Liverpool ending the campaign after two.
  • Everton trail a whopping 17 points behind Liverpool in the Premier League. Winning this match would give them a much needed psychological victory.
  • Both teams have done well in the FA Cup, with 7 wins for Liverpool and 5 for Everton.

Head to Head

Last Five Competitive Meetings Between The Sides
Date Game Result Competition First Goal-scorer
10/12/2017 Liverpool 1 – 1 Everton Premier League Salah ’42
01/04/2017 Liverpool 3 – 1 Everton Premier League Mané ‘8
19/12/2016 Everton 0 – 1 Liverpool Premier League Mané ’90
20/04/2016 Liverpool 4 – 0 Everton Premier League Origi ’43
04/10/2015 Everton 1 – 1 Liverpool Premier League Ings ’41

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Liverpool are the clear favourites for this game, with odds of 2/5 for them to win compared to odds of 6/1 for Everton at William Hill. If you truly believe that Everton have what it takes to win then this gives the bet great value. Additionally, Everton to either Win or Draw at 6/4 is also a very good idea. Nonetheless, our specialty bet would for both Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané to score at 7/1.