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Liverpool - Everton Preview: Steven Gerrard & Jamie Carragher miss Merseyside derby as Kenny Dalgish seeks first win

By Adithya Ananth

FA Cup - Manchester United vs Liverpool, Kenny Dalglish(Getty Images)
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FA Cup - Manchester United vs Liverpool, Kenny Dalglish(Getty Images)

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Daniel Agger, Martin Kelly, Christian Poulsen and Daniel Agger recently received encouraging words from manager Kenny Dalglish, and could all be set to start this game. Jamie Carragher (shoulder) remains sidelined following his surgery, while Joe Cole and Jay Spearing are doubts for this one. Steven Gerrard will play no part in this game since he is suspended.

Possible starting line-up: Reina; Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Kelly; Kuyt, Lucas, Poulsen, Meireles; Cole; Torres.


David Moyes has revealed that the Toffees have accepted an offer for Steven Pienaar from an unnamed club, but the South Africa international could still play in this game. Phil Jagielka (thigh) was expected to be in contention to feature in the Merseyside derby, but he has been unable to recover well enough to take part in the mammoth encounter at Anfield. Tim Cahill is unavailable since he is away on international duty at the Asian Cup.

Possible starting line-up: Howard; Neville, Heitinga, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Fellaini, Rodwell, Arteta, Pienaar; Saha.

Dalglish looking for first win

Liverpool recently sacked Roy Hodgson after an underwhelming campaign and brought in former boss and club legend Kenny Dalglish to take the reins on a temporary basis. But the Scot is yet to taste victory in his second stint at the helm.

His first game in charge was against Manchester United in the FA Cup, which ended in a 1-0 defeat to his side. This was followed by a trip to Bloomfield Road, where the Reds surrendered the lead before allowing the hosts to snatch a victory.

Now for the Merseyside derby. It is almost two decades since Dalglish suddenly quit the very position he holds, after his side played out a 4-4 draw with these very opponents.

The 59-year-old is held as a true legend of the club as a player as well as a manager, but his status could be dimmed if he is unable to bring about a resurrection in the team’s dreadful form. But on the contrary, a positive achievement - and a victory over Moyes’ men, for now - will do a world of good to the team as well as himself.

Blues need the points too

It is almost as if the two clubs on Merseyside are sympathising with each other stooping down to newer lows, as only goal difference separates both teams in the Premier League.

This means that the derby takes an added significance as both teams are only four points above the relegation zone, and the loser could face potentially very difficult consequences in terms of getting back up in the standings.

The visitors were having some trouble converting their chances in recent weeks, but were able to successfully put five past Scunthorpe United in the FA Cup. But their current opponents are not a team that sit in the Championship drop zone, which would make the task all the more difficult.

To add to the Moyes’ woes, Australian Tim Cahill is away on international duty in the Asia Cup and will play no part in this game. But on the positive side, the Toffees have won their last two games and the cup win should give them enough confidence to hope for the right result at Anfield.

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Head to Head
English Premier League (EPL) ‎(EPL)‎17 Oct 2010Everton 2 - Liverpool 0
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English Premier League (EPL) ‎(EPL)‎6 Feb 2010Liverpool 1 - Everton 0
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English Premier League (EPL) ‎(EPL)‎29 Nov 2009Everton 0 - Liverpool 2
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FA Cup ‎(FA)‎4 Feb 2009Everton 1 - Liverpool 0
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FA Cup ‎(FA)‎25 Jan 2009Liverpool 1 - Everton 1
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
25José Reina PaezGoalkeeper
2Glen JohnsonDefender
5Daniel AggerDefender
37Martin SkrtelDefender
34Martin KellyDefender
17Maxi RodríguezMidfielder
4Raúl MeirelesMidfielder
28Christian PoulsenMidfielder
18Dirk KuytStriker
9Fernando TorresStriker
24Tim HowardGoalkeeper
3Leighton BainesDefender
15Sylvain DistinDefender
5John HeitingaDefender
18Phil NevilleDefender
20Steven PienaarMidfielder
10Mikel ArtetaMidfielder
21Leon OsmanMidfielder
25Marouane FellainiMidfielder
31Seamus ColemanDefender
8Louis SahaStriker
Players to Watch
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres will have to step up his game in the absence of skipper Steven Gerrard and defender Jamie Carragher, and may have to do some serious damage up front if the hosts are to change their fortunes.

Phil Neville
Phil Neville
Phil Neville was linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur recently, before manager David Moyes came out dismissing the idea. The former Manchester United man will likely have a say in the proceedings if the Toffees are to continue to build on their last two results.
Probable Lineups
José Reina Paez25
Glen Johnson2
Daniel Agger5
Martin Skrtel37
Martin Kelly34
Maxi Rodríguez17
Raúl Meireles4
Christian Poulsen28
Dirk Kuyt18
Fernando Torres9
Tim Howard24
Leighton Baines3
Sylvain Distin15
John Heitinga5
Phil Neville18
Steven Pienaar20
Mikel Arteta10
Leon Osman21
Marouane Fellaini25
Seamus Coleman31
Louis Saha8
The game should be a hard fought one that could end in an entertaining draw between the two sides.

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