Tonight’s game between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield Road is the most commonly played game in English football and also better known as ‘Merseyside derby’.
The previous game in the first half of the season was a pulsating 3-3 draw and this meeting is likely to be as attacking-minded, with all eyes on Luis Suarez and Romelu Lukaku.
Both managers, Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez, insist upon proactive football and the sides are only one point apart from each other, fighting for Champions League qualification.
Liverpool will be looking to continue their impressive home record, which has seen them win nine of their 11 Premier League games at Anfield this season and scoring 29 goals along the way.
Everton, however, have only suffered two Premier League defeats under new manger Roberto Martinez, with their only away defeat coming at the fortress Etihad Stadium. Amongst others, the Toffee’s drew 1-1 at Arsenal and won 1-0 at Old Trafford.
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last seven games against their rivals in all competitions and haven’t lost at Anfield against Everton since 1999.
However, with their current injury worries, particularly at the back, Everton will be hard nut to crack for the Reds. Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger and Jose Enrique are all side-lined and Mamdou Sakho will face a late fitness test.
In midfield, Joe Allen (most likely) and Lucas will also miss out, which means Rodgers’ squad depth will be tested tonight. Roberto Martinez, meanwhile, has also some problems, with Ross Barkley, Steven Pienaar and Gerard Deulofeu all been ruled out.
Another big blow for Martinez will be the absence of his in-form right back Seamus Coleman.
With both squads stretched, Luis Suarez and Romelu Lukaku are likely to decide the 222nd Merseyside Derby. Suarez scores a goal in every 69 minutes this season and if he continues at this rate he will finish the season with 43 Premier League goals.
The Uruguay international scored 14 of his 22 goals at Anfield, with last game week’s disappointing 2-2 draw to Aston Villa being the only home game in which didn’t score.
Lukaku, meanwhile, has lost a bit of pace lately with only one goal in his last nine league games, but with four goals in six games against the Reds the Liverpool defence is his most favoured hunting ground. Martinez will be hoping Lukaku can repeat his performance from the first half of the season, when Lukaku scored two goals in the 3-3 draw.
What is your prediction for the match and which striker will decide the match? Have your say in the comment section below.