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Everton 2 vs Liverpool 0 Match Commentary, 17/10/10 k.o 13:30 BST

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Mad Men:
PRE-MATCH REALITY CHECK

Link:http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=293179&cc=4716

Take a glance at the league table in the matchday programme, jubilation will be undercut by the realisation that Liverpool are in 18th place, with Everton sitting just one place above them. Rarely has there been a Merseyside derby with both clubs at such a low ebb, and there have been 211 of these partisan clashes. Liverpool lead the overall head-to-head record with 82 wins to Everton's 65, but their most crucial victory of recent years came on Friday afternoon.

On the field, both sides have had troubled starts to the season, with the lack of fit and available goal-scorers proving a problem. Louis Saha could be fit for the derby, which would be a major boost given that, between them, Jermaine Beckford and Yakubu have scored one goal in 11 games, and that was against League One side Huddersfield. However, Everton say the game may come too soon for the Frenchman.

Fernando Torres may make his return for Liverpool, but he has looked short of fitness for some time and the constant injury niggles are hindering a return to form. Dirk Kuyt's ankle ligament damage now starves Hodgson of a different option.

While it would be an exaggeration to speak of the derby as a relegation battle, the teams currently sit 17th and 18th in the table with six points from their opening seven games, and there is little question that there is far more than pride at stake.

It is a match Liverpool SIMPLY MUST WIN. For morale sake. To get back in the charge for the title. To move back up into the middle half of the table with a host of teams currently tied on 7-10 points so far this season.

Questions remains!

1) Which liverpool side will turn up for the match? The one that got over run at Birmingham, Old Trafford in the first half, worked over by Sunderland and Blackpool or the side that gave a sterling performance against Arsenal at Anfield?

2) Will the Liverpool midfield be able to contain a vibrant and driven Everton side at Goodison?

3) Will Torres start and if so, will he be the key to a Liverpool victory today?

4) How will the Liverpool defence cope with the aerial threat posed by Cahil and co?

and finally..

5) Will Hodgson get the tactics right today and will his transfer signings finally rise to the challenge and PEFORM?

Mad Men:
So, latest updates for today afternoon's derby!

Fernando Torres starts for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby clash with Everton at Goodison Park this afternoon!

As expected, the Spaniard has shrugged off the adductor injury he sustained against Blackpool last time out to take his place in Roy Hodgson's starting XI.

Meanwhile, Paul Konchesky returns in defence and Lucas Leiva starts in midfield.

Starting Eleven and Subs!

Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Skrtel, Konchesky, Maxi, Meireles, Lucas, Cole, Gerrard, Torres. Subs: Jones, Aurelio, Jovanovic, Babel, Ngog, Spearing, Kelly.

So, Kyro will start in the center of the box with Johnson ommited for today's match. Konchesky comes back into the side after injury whilst Lucas finally gets a start after being out of favour for well over four weeks as does Maxi who returns after the Old Trafford debacle.

And is this the confirmed Everton side for today's match?

Mad Men:
Today will be CRUCIAL not only for club but manager as we seek to turn a poor start to the season and to move up into mid table.

Some upsetting stats to note:


Roy Hodgson has not won away from home in his last 21 Premier League matches as a coach with Liverpool and Fulham.
This is their poorest start to a top-flight campaign since 1953/54 (based on three points for a win).

So you know Roy knows what's at stake for today's match, which incidently will be the most watched match around the world at kick-off!

Mad Men:
Dominic King being interviewed before kick of by SKY:

On meeting Henry yesterday:

"Unassuming, humble, courteous, good first impression of Henry. He didn't want to make promises... listened rather than spoke...encouraging first impressions....no transfer budgets discussed....an awful lot of consulting to do (on his part).... (would be) wrong for him to make brash promises. Sensible person."

Chakan:
Good Morning Mad Men,

So Derby day is upon us, and with the week we have had I am quietly optimistic that we will pull out a win here.
I promise it has nothing to do with Poulsen not being in the team. I promise. I could be lying though.

So 25 minutes to go for Roy and the team to turn around the shoddy start.
No more off field excuses , no more threat of administration, no more worry for the guys.

We need a win plain and simple. A draw is not good enough, a loss.......  Disastrous.

Lets twat these bitter blues!

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