x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

How the Merseyside derby will be won

The key battles and tactics for derby day between Liverpool and Everton.

Key Battle

Fabio Aurelio v Seamus Coleman

David Moyes's greatest signing? Coleman, below, who cost just £60,000 (Dh342,000) from Sligo Rovers in 2009, has been arguably Everton's best player this season at either right-back or right midfield. Aurelio, the Brazilian, looks to have won back the left-back slot from Paul Konchesky and will aim to subdue Coleman's forays forward.

Tactics

After three consecutive defeats, without Steven Gerrard, their captain and with the pressure of a derby game, Liverpool may well approach this match with caution. Everton are missing their best goal threat, Tim Cahill, and will probably be happiest on the counter attack

Previous meetings

Everton, who are looking for their first double over Liverpool since the 1984/85 season, have not won at Anfield since 1999. The last four meetings at Liverpool's ground have produced just four goals

Probable line-ups

Liverpool (4-5-1) Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Aurelio; Lucas, Meireles, Maxi, Kuyt, Cole; Torres

Everton (4-5-1) Howard; Neville, Distin, Heitinga, Baines; Coleman, Arteta, Fellaini; Peinaar; Osman; Saha

Facts

This fixture has seen more red cards (19) than any other in the Premier League. There were two last season and 10 sendings off in the last 12 games.

Liverpool's 10 defeats in the league is most they have had at this stage of the season since 1957, when they were relegated.

The last time Kenny was in charge during this fixture

While it is remembered as Kenny Dalglish’s last game, the 4-4 draw at Goodison Park in February 1991 is probably the greatest of all 214 Merseyside derbies. Liverpool took the lead four times, through Peter Beardsley (twice), Ian Rush and John Barnes.

On each occasion, Everton levelled, with Graeme Sharp and Tony Cottee each scoring a brace. Cottee, sent on after 84 minutes of the game, remembers thinking: “What am I supposed to do in six minutes?”

Dalglish, meanwhile, felt he was not his usual decisive self; having planned to move Jan Molby back to sweeper, he was talked out of it by Ronnie Moran, his assistant coach.

“I still blame myself for it now,” he wrote in his autobiography. The following day, he announced his decision to leave.