Everton vs Liverpool: Toffees favorites in Merseyside derby after scintillating start to campaign

While many would argue that Everton has played just one big-name side and has had a rather comfortable fixture, they seem to have done their homework against all the teams they have played so far


                            Everton vs Liverpool: Toffees favorites in Merseyside derby after scintillating start to campaign
(Getty Images)
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Not many would have expected Everton to top the standings. Played four, won four is a record that probably shouldn't come as a surprise considering the style of football Carlo Ancelotti's boys have been playing. They first pipped Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 and then followed it up with a 5-2 drubbing over West Brom. Another win was over Crystal Palace.

A comprehensive 4-1 win was next on the cards against West Ham. Preston, Salford City and Fleetwood were all trounced as they now have a seven-game unbeaten streak from both the EFL and the Premier League.

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Which is why come Saturday (October 17), they will fancy their chances against Liverpool when both sides meet in their Merseyside derby. This has nothing to do with the fact that the Reds lost 7-2 to Aston Villa last week. This time, Everton look to capitalize on the momentum they have gained from the season.

For starters, they now have a balanced side which was sorely missed in their 2019-20's dismal 12th finish campaign. James Rodriguez, Allan Marques and Abdoulaye Doucoure add to their strengths.

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In Dominic Calvert-Lewin, they have a striker in a rich vein of form with nine goals in six games after he made his senior England debut in the Nations League. He announced his entry when he scored in the Three Lions 3-0 win over Wales.

Rodriguez has three goals in the four appearances he's had for the team and that adds to the optimism factor the side will take when they host Liverpool at St James Goodison Park. Doucoure has been the one responsible for playing a part in Everton's ball possession. 

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He brings with him the option of playing box-to-box, something the club badly needed last season. In Allan Marques, there's a major boost in the defense department and he comes in with 19 tackles and eight fouls that have stumped oppositions. Ancelotti was a picture of confidence himself when he backed his side to do well.

"We are confident. It doesn’t matter what happened last week, they (Liverpool) are still a fantastic team with a fantastic manager. It will be a difficult game but we have confidence," he said on the club's official site.

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There have been instances when Everton went from a position of dominance to coming out with meek defeats. Fansided has a timeline of events that starts as far back as 1894/95. While many would argue that Everton has actually played just one big-name side and has had a rather comfortable fixture, they seem to have done their homework against all the teams they have played so far.

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Agreed Jurgen Klopp's men come into the season as defending champs. They have a fully-recovered Sadio Mane back in their ranks and the addition of Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota in the transfer window makes them a formidable threat. But their defensive game has lacked teeth and that's the window Ancelotti would be looking to explore and make use of in their favor.

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Quite simply, this is a matchup of a side daring to dream and a team that's out to get shake off a rusty start to the season. Everton has every reason to be optimistic and should they play the way they are, this season just might be something special for them. Kick-off is slated for 7.30 am ET on Saturday, October 17. The game will be televised live on NBCSN.

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