IT’S derby day on Merseyside this Saturday, with both sides entering the game during a period of improved form, neither side have lost a league game this year.
We caught up with Everton season ticket holder Mike Sumpter to get his views ahead of the game.
Q. Describe your season so far? Have your expectations changed from before the season to now?
Mike: Poor season so far, start was very dissapointing but mostly due to injuries. Expectations have changed now, I am hoping for a good run in Europa league and a top 7 finish.
Q. Whose impressed for you this season, and who would say we should be wary of on Saturday?
One of the best players this season would have to be Pienaar. He has been really good on the ball and very influential. Doing things to help change matches aswell as helping track back. Players to be wary of would be any of our midfield. Pienaar, Donovan, Cahill and Fellaini are all playing very well.
Q. What about us then, who are you most worried about facing?
Gotta be Gerrard and Torres, they are about the only threat I see in the Liverpool team, most of the rest I have trouble seeing them doing anything. So with Torres out, only Gerrard.
Derby day always evokes memories of yore, what are your personal favourite derby moments?
Gosling’s goal in the FA Cup replay last year was a good one, and I still remember Danny Cadamarteri robbing the ball off Ruddock on the halfway line and scoring. Was about the only thing the lad ever did!
And not so happy derby memories?
McAllister’s injury time free kick was obviously a sore point, as was Westerveld’s free kick that hit Don Hutchinson and went in – only after the ref blew for full time.
Much has been made in the build-up to this match about the rivalry moving further away from the ‘friendly derby’ in recent years, what’s your take on the increased animosity of late?
I have not really seen any decrease in the friendliness in the derby. The main problem is the same as on a normal night out. Always seems to be kids that can’t handle their ale “kickin’ off”. I usually watch it with my mates and all are a mix of red and blue. We never have any trouble. I even had a few in the Sandon last year when we lost and it was sound, no problems with anything.
What lineup should we expect from David Moyes on Saturday?
Same as last week i would think, Howard in goal, Baines Senderos Heitinga Neville across the back, Pienaar Fellaini Osman Donovan in midfield and Cahill behind Saha uptop. Probably our strongest line up at the minute, but I would like to see Coleman get a chance at right back.
Go on then, predictions for the match?
I honestly think we can play tough which seems to cause Liverpool trouble. Liverpool seem to do better against teams that try and attack, and have big problems breaking down teams that hustle them. I hope Moysie sees that and sets us out acordingly.
1-0 at half time. 1-2 Everton at the end.
And predictions for where both sides will finish come May?
Liverpool 5th. Everton 7th (hopefully with the Europa league spots comming that far down).