Lee Dixon: Liverpool to land Merseyside bragging rights

5May 2013

England - Premier League

 

The Merseyside derby kicks off Sunday's Premier League football but there's little at stake beyond local pride - and that should go the way of Liverpool, says Lee  Dixon...

 

These are interesting times on Merseyside with both Liverpool and Everton having some big questions to answer in the off-season.

 

Luis Suarez continues to dominate matters at Anfield. The Uruguayan is undoubtedly a genius with the ball at his feet, but he is a polarising and controversial figure  and the 'will-he, won't-he' stay story looks set to run until the 2013/14 season begins unless he goes of course, in which case we'll all be talking about who replaces  him!

 

Meanwhile at Goodison Park, we still don't know if David Moyes will be the man to lead the Toffees into their 22nd Premier League campaign with the Scotsman out of  contract at the end of the season. Money is always in short supply at Everton, and there's no sign of a big financial boost coming any time soon, something that has  long been a frustration for Moyes .

 

Both come into Sunday's game on the back of Premier League wins, though Liverpool's 6-0 destruction of Newcastle was far more eye-catching than Everton's 1-0 home  defeat of Fulham.

 

Liverpool's win was achieved without the suspended Suarez of course, though I think it was one of those unusual results you see at this time of the season achieved  against a team encountering an ill-timed and dangerous wobbly patch that could yet see them relegated from the Premier League.

 

That said, Phillipe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge linked very well at St James' Park and will have enjoyed a nice confidence-boosting afternoon against a sorry  Newcastle rearguard. With both teams evenly matched in most areas of the pitch it might just be the Liverpool attack that makes the difference between these two sides  at Anfield.

 

Everton don't score many goals and could struggle against a Liverpool defence that has kept 14 clean sheets this year, conceding just 16 in 17 home games this season.  Chelsea were the only team to breach the Liverpool defence in four games last month and I fancy the Reds back four can do it again. This should be a slim home win for  Liverpool and I will be backing the home side to win 1-0 and 2-0.

 

A top four finish is impossible for the Reds and highly unlikely for Everton and all that's left for the two is local bragging rights, which should ensure a frenetic  game with more than a few cards. The Betfair market makes the Toffees odds-on to end the season above Liverpool, but defeat at Anfield will give Rodgers' side a huge  chance of overhauling their local rivals with the Reds' last two game far easier than the Blues'.

 

That would cheer the fans, but it's no great achievement for either club in the grand scheme of things. And with so many question marks surrounding both clubs they may  find themselves in the same position next year. The off-season will be interesting on Merseyside.

 

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Keywords: Lee Dixon, Liverpool, Merseyside, rights

Source: Betfair

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