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TepidT2O:

--- Quote from: Sheer Magnetism on April 22, 2024, 12:06:53 pm ---Everton vs Liverpool, Wednesday 24 April, 8pm

Referee: Craig Pawson. Assistants: Marc Perry, Wade Smith. Fourth official: Sam Allison. VAR: Tony Harrington. Assistant VAR: Richard West.



So here we are: the last Merseyside derby of the Klopp era. When I took this match a few months back, I had a good idea of what I wanted to write: a summation of the most memorable Klopp derbies. The good (Origi and Mane putting them to the sword in that 5-2 win on Amazon, the 4-1 thumping at the end of 2021 with our fans singing ‘Merry Christmas, Everton’), the bad (the lockdown games) and the hilarious (you know what I’m talking about), all with a healthy portion of jeering.

But as the game drew closer, I found myself having a change of heart, and instead of the urge to mock I began feeling some sympathy. Sure, some of it is not living in the city and having to face their bitterness all the time, but I think more of it is seeing a once great team lurch further and further towards bankruptcy, the culmination of everything that could go wrong going wrong again and again. It’s been a rough few years for everyone – Brexit, covid, insane inflation, horror conflicts overseas, a nightmare government – but when things felt bleak we always had this team and this club to fall back on, a team that performed heroics under one of football’s most inspirational figures, a team you could believe in and be proud of. Everton fans had a punchline (“Everton, that”), a team that takes your pride and turns it on its side.

I know asking people to have sympathy for Evertonians is asking a lot, especially as I know a fair few posters would be quite happy seeing this be the last derby for a long time or even ever (and it might be, the way points deductions are going). But I’d ask you to think of two things. The first is the games in the 80’s when both sets of fans would travel up together downing beers on the coach and booing the national anthem in unison, two parts of the same city standing up to the establishment.

The other is that most of us have loved something or someone in our lives that has let us down and disappointed us over and over again no matter what we did, every seemingly bright new dawn darkening into yet another anti-climax. I hope Everton survive for the sake of the people who love the club, and perhaps if they won one or two things in the long run it would make them more bearable and might be good for the city as a whole.

That being said, I hope we put eight past them on Wednesday. Now, on to the teams.

Liverpool

We’ve had a hard time of it the last few weeks, the winter charge giving way to a spring malaise where we seemingly couldn’t put away chances for love nor money. Whoever the manager is next season, who stays and who goes may be up in the air, but the Fulham match felt like a breath of fresh air by the end, and hopefully the result is a harbinger of things to come.

Line up? 4-3-3 obviously, with the question being who’s going to be in midfield and in the front three. Bradley is the only short-term injury right now, and if things go well we might end up seeing some of the kids (Bajcetic included) get some game time. Either way, almost everyone is fit now and it feels like we have the firepower off the bench to throw at any game we need to in order to get the three points. Trent said it yesterday: we have to throw the kitchen sink at the rest of the season regardless of how the other results break for us.

Everton

Everton may have been more miss than hit this year but were it not for the points deduction, they’d be sitting comfortably in midtable rather than fighting for their lives. I say fighting but they’re not fighting that hard. Before the weekend they had one league win since mid-December and a very erratic Chelsea side pumped six past them a few days back. They may have pulled off a win against relegation rivals Forest yesterday, but that needed three questionable penalty calls.

They play a compact, Dychean 4-4-1-1, with Pickford in goal and Doucoure playing as the number 10 behind Calvert-Lewin (if he’s fit) or Beto. Dwight McNeill and Ashley Young typically flank a central midfield that should be made up of Gueye and Gomes, although Garner and Onana have both played there this season. Tarkowski and Branthwaite are at the heart of a defence that includes Mykolenko at left back and either Godfrey or Coleman on the right, though Young has also played at full back as he did yesterday. If it’s Coleman, I expect whoever’s playing for us on the left to run rampant. Either way, regardless of where they are, this is a game where we’ll dominate possession and we need to turn that into goals. Let's conjure the spirit of Rushie and Origi out there! Allez, allez, allez!!


--- End quote ---

TepidT2O:

TepidT2O:
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TepidT2O:
0 underway at the theatre of boos

duvva 💅:
First thing to note is the ref is not Pawson

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