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.
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.
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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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 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.