Spyin' Kop: Goodison Derby

Posted by Timbo's Goals on September 7, 2006, 08:43:45 PM

Whilst the usual pre-derby day momentum has been somewhat interrupted by the international games, both teams will merely be relieved to see all their potential first choice players return uninjured. So we resume with a visit across the park for the 204th Merseyside Derby.

Anyone hoping to second guess the team Rafael Benitez will put out is in for a surprise. That’s why I gave up on the hugely popular prediction league so early on! Sissoko could be the pivotal selection whilst Gerrard’s inclusion could depend on the availability of Carragher and Riise. Fowler appears to be a favourite to start and with Crouch scoring yet again, you’d expect him to be first choice up front. But, as I’ve said, predicting Rafa’s team sheet is futile – especially with PSV in mind.

David Moyes, with a lesser squad at his disposal might be easier to predict and Rafa will be fully aware of this.

Everton v Liverpool
Saturday 9th September 2006
Goodison Park
KO: 12.45pm
Referee: Graham Poll

I popped over to the Toffeeweb People's Forum to gauge their thoughts on the first of the two most important fixtures of every league season.

My thanks to anthonyjevans and Garrincha for their answers.

Everton, third in the table at the moment- just above Chelsea. It’s ridiculously early to be looking at league tables - but where do you expect to finish this season?

anthonyjevans: Challenging for a UEFA spot

Garrincha: Errrr…. You never can tell with Moyes. We would be happy top 6, ok top 8, below top 10 and the brands will be lighted. I suspect 6-8.
So, 15th, 7th, 17th, 4th and 11th – your final league standings under Moyes since he arrived. You’ve won 64 league games under him and been beaten in 63. An interesting statistic going into the Derby – perhaps the chance for an equaliser! So, What are your general feelings about your manager as things stand?

anthonyjevans: I think he’s turned us into a club capable of consistently qualifying for Europe, which is a fine achievement. I definitely think he’s taken the club forward, and although he’s made some big mistakes he seems to learn from them. He was a great appointment, and I am confident that the general trend is upward and will keep rising.

Garrincha: I admire his ability to meld a team out of the dregs he has had to buy.

A lot has been said about the increasing bitterness between red and blue in recent years. Have you experienced anything at close hand? Is it over hyped or is it becoming worse?

anthonyjevans: I think there’s a distinction between the disciplinary record on the pitch, and what happens off it. I think the derby is becoming increasingly important for both clubs, but don’t think that rivalry will ever cause a division between Everton and Liverpool fans generally.

Garrincha: It is getting noticeably worse. That gobshite in the upper Anny didn’t help matters catching a little girl in the face with a coin but we have our own problems. Generally most supporters of both sides get on but it doesn’t take much these days for it to kick off.

The whole ground share debate is most definitely closed our end. What are your feelings on the continuing speculation about goodison’s future?

anthonyjevans: It’d be nice if we had confidence in the board to do the right thing. Ideally we could leave them to get on with it, choose the best site and build a stadium befitting our club. But inevitably it’ll be controversial because no one wants another Riverside. Personally I think the out of town model is in decline, but it’s important we realise that the decision will have a massive long term impact. The Park End shows how short-sightedness will haunt you, we have to wait until we’ve got the resources to do something special

Garrincha: I still believe it is gonna happen. The numbers for it are overwhelming. The political will is also there. Personally, I hate the idea and will never go to a shared stadium. The same goes for an out of town Tescobowl. The day we move outside the city boundaries there will never be another scouser born a blue. You should move out. We were here first and frankly you have lowered the tone of the neighbourhood. 

What sort of line-up will Moyes put out against LFC?

anthonyjevans: I think he’ll stick to the Spurs line up (Davies in for Kilbane) and keep Beattie on the bench. I think he’ll be conservative given our recent record against you. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if he does have two up front – your central defenders look vulnerable. I’ll be interested to see what formation we go with.

Garrincha: Hopefully one keeper who isn’t Dickie Wright. 8 men to give the ball to Arteta and Johnson. Then Arteta and Johnson.

Where do you expect Liverpool to finish in the Premier League?

anthonyjevans: Second or third, but your recent spending has pushed you from being a club happy with Champions League to being one that needs to challenge for the title. I can’t see it though.

Garrincha: They never finish where I expect. Mostly because the PL doesn’t have a 21st place. The LFC squad is better in depth now you have Andy Pandy instead of Clouseau. He can spot a player which was something his predecessor could never do. Not sure the first team is better and your keeper is suspect.

Which Liverpool player will you fear the most – apart from Steven Gerrard?

anthonyjevans: To be honest though I don’t fear much from Birmingham (Pennant), Aston Villa (Crouch), Newcastle (Bellamy), Man City (Fowler), or Middlesbrough (Zendon) misfits. 

Garrincha: Riise. A great player. Seems to have been underrated ever since you got him.

You appear to have signed a decent striker in Andy Johnson. What do you think is Everton’s best attacking formation for the season?

anthonyjevans: I dunno, we’ve got the strikers for 4-4-2, but the midfielders for 4-5-1.

Garrincha: Tricky to say. Anichebe has a first touch akin to Crouch, Beattie is horribly permanently unfit, McFadden is really unreliable. Probably 4-4-1-1 with Cahill lurking.

I might stick a fiver on 3-1 Liverpool with Crouch first goal scorer. What’s your bet?

anthonyjevans: I never bet on the derby… !

Garrincha: 2 sendings off.

Funny you should say that, Graham Poll could be handing out a yellow card or three on Saturday. What are your thoughts on his selection?

Garrincha: The man is a cretin. The goal which never was is just one of many examples. He will doubtless make many more imbecilic decisions which will only increase the tensions. I wouldn't let him adjudicate on Bullseye.

anthonyjevans: NIGHTMARE!!

So there you have it. My prediction? Liverpool 3 – 1 Everton. But I won’t be putting money on it – I never do on football, I was just trying to lure the lads into a prediction!

© Tim Kelly 2006

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