Premier League Preview: Liverpool v Everton
By Football News
Liverpool enter Sunday's Merseyside derby against Everton hoping to extend their Premier League unbeaten streak to six matches.
Brendan Rodgers' side sit seventh in the table and could move within two points of their local rivals with victory at Anfield.
Liverpool were at their destructive best last week, thrashing a 10-man Newcastle United 6-0 at St. James' Park.
It was a performance that made a mockery of claims they could not win games without the services of Uruguay striker Luis Suarez – who was serving the first of a 10-match ban for biting – as Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson both weighed in with two goals.
Sturridge led the line superbly in front of England manager Roy Hodgson, while 20-year-old Brazilian attacker Philippe Coutinho starred in a more central role.
Everton also registered a win, although their scoreline could not have been more different as Steven Pienaar's early strike was all they needed in a 1-0 triumph against Fulham at Goodison Park.
The win was the ideal response for David Moyes' side after a 1-0 loss at Sunderland, and avoiding defeat on Sunday would go a long way to ensuring they finish above Liverpool.
That has only happened twice in Premier League history and it has never occurred in consecutive seasons.
But a win for Liverpool will give them a genuine chance of winning bragging rights on Merseyside with Everton still to travel to Chelsea on the last day of the season.
And Rodgers' men will take heart from the fact Everton have not won at Anfield since September 1999 - a whopping 4,967 days ago by the time the game comes around - when Kevin Campbell scored the only goal in a 1-0 win that also saw three players sent off.
Liverpool will be without midfielder Joe Allen (shoulder) and defender Martin Kelly (knee), while Raheem Sterling (thigh) has a chance of returning on Sunday.
Moyes is hopeful Darron Gibson will return from a niggle.
The earlier meeting between the two sides this season was an entertaining 2-2 draw at Goodison Park in October.
A Leighton Baines own goal was followed by a Luis Suarez effort as Liverpool led 2-0 after just 20 minutes.
Leon Osman and Steven Naismith responded before half-time for Everton though, and despite an exciting second half, neither team could find a winner.
More fireworks are predicted for Sunday but with Liverpool having been so dominant against Newcastle last week, it seems more likely the hosts will come away from this encounter with all three points.