Saturday, October 20, 2007

206th Merseyside Derby Preview

The longest running football derby in England will be the spotlight once again, diverting attention back from the abject performance of the English national team. What a match it will prove to be, considering it is right after the international break.

Both teams have been going through a bit of a rough patch in recent games with Liverpool failing to win the last 3 Premiership games while Liverpool drew 3 of the last 4 games.

It is indeed testing for Rafa Benitez and his men as there are some key players facing late fitness test to prove their fitness for one of the biggest fixture this season. Fernando Torres, Liverpool's top scorer currently, was injured during the international duty and is racing to be fit for the derby.

Many Liverpool fans were in expectant mood to see him playing against their arch rivals but the dream was almost shattered when he reported back to Melwood with a thigh injury. Harry Kewell, although returned to training, is still not ready for a match this proportion.

Meanwhile, Dirk Kuyt is expected to shrug off his hamstring strain and book a place in the squad.Daniel Agger, though, won't be as lucky as he will sit out this game after failing to recover from his foot injury.

Everton will be missing out of form striker, Andy Johnson, but might welcome back their talismanic midfielder, Tim Cahill.

The battle at Goodison Park will be a very intriguing one indeed, considering that Liverpool failed to notch up even a goal against their arch rival last season and to add salt to their wounds, they were trounced 3-0 there last season.

For Rafa's men, there are plenty to play for. Salvaging some pride while regaining the right to boast. It'll no doubt be a feisty encounter with lots of passion added in. The last 10 Merseyside derby reaped a total of 7 red cards and that just tell how easy it is to lose your head in such a game.

Will Rafa's men keep their cool and bounce back from their mini slump? Or will Everton once again embarrass their so called 'bigger' neighbours.

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