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Everton have form but Liverpool have the psychological edge ahead of the Merseyside derby

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Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta scored the last time Everton beat Liverpool in 2010 at Goodison Park. David Moyes was still the manager on the Blues side of Mersey and Roy Hodgson was in charge of the Reds.

It will exactly be a decade since that result when Everton host Liverpool for another Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Saturday, 17th October. In the last ten years, the Toffees have had little joy in the local derby.

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Liverpool have won 11 of the 22 meetings since then in all competitions and the other 11 were draws.

Everton’s search for an elusive win against their local rivals has stretched ten years.

Over this period, Liverpool have gone through ups and downs before winning the Champions League and the Premier League under Jurgen Klopp in the last two years.

But the 237th Merseyside derby on Saturday promises to be more than a procession for Liverpool and there is palpable excitement about Everton breaking their derby day blues for the first time in exactly a decade.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are at the top of the Premier League table, winning all of their opening four league games and are unbeaten in seven in all competitions.

On the other hand, Liverpool have looked shaky at the back and it culminated in a humiliating 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa just before the international break.

Everton believe that this is their chance to get one over their more successful and accomplished city rivals. But Liverpool are still the champions of England and have the psychological edge of not losing a derby game in a decade.

Everton looked transformed while Liverpool look unsure

Carlo Ancelotti took charge of Everton in the middle of last season but Everton limped to a 12th place finish in the league table.

But the Toffees were prepared to back a manager who won league titles in multiple countries and won the Champions League, and Ancelotti’s top targets in James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure were all delivered before the start of the new Premier League campaign.

And Ancelotti has been showing what he can do once he has the squad he wants and the Toffees have looked transformed. Everton have played free-flowing attacking football with Rodriguez, who looked a lost cause at Real Madrid, at the heart of everything creative about them.

The Colombian has netted three goals and registered three assists and has looked rejuvenated under Ancelotti at Everton.

Allan and Doucoure have made Everton solid in the middle of the park and have provided the base on which Ancelotti could give his attacking players the free reign to express themselves.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has looked like a proper number 9 this season and has scored nine goals in just six appearances in all competitions this season.

Everton’s attacking powers have been the reason behind their scintillating start to the season and while no one expects them to keep this run going, they are facing Liverpool at the right time.

The champions of England have won three of their opening four games but Leeds United exposed their defensive frailties on the opening day when the Reds won 4-3 against Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

And their defensive issues came to the fore properly just before the international break when Aston Villa carved Jurgen Klopp’s side open in a shocking 7-2 win at Villa Park.

Virgil van Dijk has looked far from the defender who was tipped to win the Ballon d’Or last season and his lack of conviction has spread to the rest of the back four. Liverpool have looked wildly suspect at the back and they have been conceding too many chances for Klopp’s comfort.

Alisson’s injury has further exacerbated their problems with Adrian never looking comfortable between the sticks for the Reds.

With a resurgent Everton team with their tails up and James Rodriguez and Calvert-Lewin looking hungry, Liverpool’s defence will come under more pressure at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Everton are smelling blood and are preparing to right the wrongs of the last ten years by finally beating their Merseyside rivals for the first time in a decade.

But……..

Liverpool’s psychological hold over Everton and a decade of pain for the Toffees

Liverpool have always been the more successful club on Merseyside and have the superior record on derby days as well since the two teams first met in October 1894.

But Everton have fashioned themselves as the family club on Merseyside and have often spoiled derby days for their more successful Red cousins with shock results over the last 126 years. Everton beat Liverpool in the FA Cup final in 1981 and there was a period in the 1990s when the Reds failed to beat the Blues for five years.

Everton smashed the then-champions of Europe Liverpool 3-0 in September 2006 but those heady derby days have gone missing for the Toffees in the last ten years.

Liverpool have had a stranglehold over their Merseyside rivals in the last decade and Everton have not looked like winning a game on derby days. Their last meeting was a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park in June and it was considered a success for Everton.

The champions of England have had a psychological edge over Everton that has built over ten years of constant pain for the Toffees.

Everton have looked different this season. They seem more confident, they have a managerial elite in Carlo Ancelotti in their dugout and they have a player of James Rodriguez’s calibre adding class to their forward line.

But when they take the pitch at Goodison Park on Saturday, they will have to bear the weight of the last ten years and they will face a Liverpool side who cantered to a league title last season.

While Jurgen Klopp’s side look very beatable at the moment due to their defensive frailties, they are still champions of England and can hurt any team with their attacking powers.

They will also have a ten-year record of not losing a Merseyside derby behind them and Liverpool will hope that it should give them a psychological edge over Everton.

Ancelotti will bank on his players to keep that record in the backburner and display their true qualities against the toughest of opponents at Goodison Park on Saturday.

But Everton will have to get it mentally right before they go out to the Goodison Park turf and face the Reds. Form often goes out of the window on derby days and the weight of history is also in Liverpool’s corner.

Also Read: 5 transfers which didn’t materialise this summer

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