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Everton vs Liverpool; Merseyside Derby time, nervous yet?

Let me take you back to just before the first lockdown. 

It was the week of the derby at Goodison Park.  

Liverpool had a chance to possibility win the title at Goodison. Everton had a chance to delay it. 

The build-up was disgusting for every supporter. The what ifs were discussed every minute of every day. The tension was quite simply unbearable. 

Then as we all know everything stopped and life changed for good. 

Seven months on all them feelings are back but ten times worse. 

If you say you aren’t nervous well, you are quite simply lying because this derby on Saturday has got the nerves jangling and not like many before in recent history. 

There are so many reasons why this fixture is the worst one of the year whilst simultaneously the best. All across the city Evertonians work with Liverpudlians, Liverpool fans will be best mates with Everton fans, and some may even live with one another. 

Work colleagues become daily nightmares, best mates become enemies and households are divided.  

It happens every year and with the emotion that this city and these clubs bring it means the derby is one hell of an occasion but this time it has that little bit of extra spice. 

Firstly, the biggest reason for that is because Everton are top of the league and unbeaten having won every game so far in all competitions. The worrying thing for the red side of Merseyside is that it is every bit deserved. 

All their new signings are working magnificently with one of the best managers from the last 20 years at the helm. Allan and Doucoure have revolutionised the midfield after some dreadful performances last season. Richarlison has been his menacing self, whilst Dominic Calvert-Lewin is Premier League top goal scorer. As well as all this they have Colombian superstar James Rodriguez pulling the strings and proving his doubters wrong. 

Everton vs Liverpool; Merseyside Debry time, Nervous yet?

So the enthusiasm amongst the Everton faithful has gained momentum and is definitely why they will be scared as it may be their best chance to win it but they don’t want to be let down after getting their hopes up, yet again. 

The only thing that has let Everton down so far this season and also makes the game ten times more terrifying for the blue noses is a certain England number one.  

To put it nicely Jordan Pickford has been awful. 

It looked like he had turned a corner with a clean sheet against Tottenham but ever since then the erratic nature of his game has continued. He gives the opposition side a minimum of one chance per game through mistakes which does not do the blood pressure of Evertonians any good. 

So, the goalkeeper may be Everton’s downfall which brings me nicely onto Liverpool supporters’ worries. 

Everton’s fantastic form alone is enough for the nail biting to start but then put on top of that a 7-2 thrashing from Aston villa and then first choice keeper Alisson Becker being out for the next six weeks with a goalkeeper out of sorts as back-up. Hence the cold feet. 

Adrian San Miguel. Where do we even start? 

The Spaniard will likely start unless Klopp wants to have a laugh and pick Caoimhín Kelleher for his first league start or 17-year-old new signing Marcelo Pitaluga for his debut. 

Some supporters would honestly rather one of the two youngsters start which says a lot.  

Adrian, again to put it nicely, has been a liability and every game he plays you sense a mistake or just horrendous goalkeeping in general. 

It isn’t harsh it is unfortunately just the truth, he made the first mistake which started Villa’s thrashing and for the last goal he gave Grealish a half empty net with some mental positioning just like he did against Atletico Madrid, for Alvaro Morata’s goal in last seasons Champions League

So, both sets of supporters are dreading a goalkeeping error that may cost them total embarrassment, for weeks, months, years on end. Yes years.  

Remember 2018 Everton fans, of course you do Liverpudlians do not shut up about it and rightly so.  

The history of the fixture speaks for itself and the recent history is why the red side of the city’s anxiety levels don’t stop rising until the final whistle. 

Everyone from the outside looking in views this as some sort of friendly derby. It is not.  

One of the main reasons being Liverpool’s superior record. Everton last beat Liverpool exactly ten years ago on Saturday.  

It would be fate wouldn’t it. Written in the stars?  

It is a record which every kopite adores and loves to show off, obviously.  

If Everton stop their rotten record the amount of gloating would be unhealthy and no Liverpudlian would be able to handle it because all the taunting does get under your skin even when Everton finish mid table, it does not matter how many times you say you do not care. 

Deep down you hate it, and you hate them, the reason Everton fans do it is the exact same. They hate their red neighbours more than anyone else.  

The hate comes out twice a year for a few weeks unless there is a cup game like last season, another moment for Everton to forget, then it will die down into sly digs practically every day because it never truly goes away. 

Any chance to take the mick is taken with both hands. 

This derby this time around genuinely has the potential to be a magic contest and it is a disgrace that supporters cannot be in the stands to view it even though the London Palladium was full the other night.  

Saying that though it will probably be a boring 0-0, always tends to happen, which might help some of the stress but probably won’t. 

Two of the best managers in the world up against each other in the most anticipated derby in years and this one will actually go ahead. 

The league leaders against the league champions. 

A few years ago the whole city of Liverpool would not have believed that sentence is about their two beloved teams. 

But it is and that sentence alone should get you excited or make you sick with nerves. 

Is it possible to be both? 

Merseyside Debry, Saturday 12:30 kick off. It does not get bigger than this. 

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: Christmas comes early with a drive-in pantomime, Christmas cinema and car-aoke experience in Liverpool!

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