Everton vs Liverpool – Premier League preview and team news

Everton and Liverpool will contest the Merseyside derby on Saturday with the two sides separated by just three points going into the game.

Before the international break, Everton were left to rue a missed opportunity as a disappointing performance led to their second consecutive goalless draw, at bottom club Crystal Palace. Despite that, Roberto Martinez will still be highly satisfied by the start he has made to his Goodison Park reign, with only one defeat in his first 11 Premier League matches.

Although it is his first taste of this fixture, the Spaniard is no stranger to fierce local derbies, having managed Swansea City twice against Cardiff City during the 2008-09 season, and he will be aiming to improve Everton’s record of just one win in 13 Premier League games against the Reds.

Liverpool close the gap on leaders Arsenal with a comprehensive win over struggling Fulham last time out, with Luis Suarez grabbing two more goals as his wonderful form since his return to action continued. Philippe Coutinho was also a major influence on his return to the starting line-up, and he should again be key if Brendan Rodgers is to defeat Everton for the first time as a manager.

Although defenders Antolin Alcaraz and Tony Hibbert are back to fitness, they are not expected to feature. Their return will leave Darron Gibson and Arouna Kone as Everton’s only absentees.

Jose Enrique has been ruled out for Liverpool and will require surgery for a knee injury, so Aly Cissokho will continue at left-back for the foreseeable future. Steven Gerrard featured for England on Tuesday and will play, but Iago Aspas is out.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Everton v Liverpool

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