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Neville Southall’s Merseyside derby exclusive: Everton can prove a point if they have a go at Liverpool

Big Nev wants the Toffees to show no fear as they look for their first league win at Anfield since 1999.

by Neville Southall | January 26, 2014

You can always tell when Phil Thompson and Jamie Carragher are on TV because all you hear about is Everton’s dismal record at Anfield.

Ok, so we haven’t come away from there with three points since Kevin Campbell’s strike in September 1999. But this is an Everton side that are flying high in the Premier League and we’ve only lost one Premier League game on the road in our last 11.

And even that was to Manchester City – and they haven’t lost a game at the Etihad all season. The Reds will point to their six wins in the last 11 derby games but give Everton some credit for their five draws also.

I was part of the 2-0 winning side in 1986 and found out afterwards that me and the wife were having a baby daughter so that was a double result.

I always liked playing at Anfield but hated playing after Christmas because the sun was always in your bloody eyes. It was a nuisance. It was never a problem goal-wise though.

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The 3-3 draw at Goodison Park last November was a belter. That was as good a derby game as I’ve ever seen.

Even when Everton were trailing you could see see that they were still in it. When it got to 2-2 they still played like they wanted to win it and got a third.

Have a go

And that’s what Everton fans will want to see on Tuesday night (8pm).

As long as we have a go, I think the Toffee supporters will be happy regardless of the result. Aston Villa showed last week that if you put it up to Liverpool you’ve got a shout.

Both clubs have a chance of playing in Europe next season and it’s been a while since the city has been able to say that.

This Derby can change everything. If Roberto Martinez and Everton win they’ll have the confidence to push on for fourth spot. But Brendan Rodgers will feel the same about his side.

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A pressing concern

It should be high-tempo game and I hope we press them higher up the pitch this time.  We can’t let Liverpool play out from the back, because they’re decent when they do that to be fair to them.

If we can force Simon Mignolet to keep kicking it out we should mop up a lot more possession. It’s important that we try to play the game to our strengths.

If we press them there’ll be less time on the ball for them to get quality ball through to Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge who can do you damage.

Whoever wins will want to build on it and cement fourth place in the table because I can’t see them getting above the top three of Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea.

We’ve winnable games coming up after Liverpool and if we’re ahead of them we can really kick on and put pressure on them to catch us.

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Red for danger

The referee will be important too. It’s bound to be a bit tasty at the start. Once he lets everyone settle down and has a quiet word if there’s a rogue tackle or two it should be fine. If he wants to hog the limelight and starts getting cards out early doors – then he could spoil it.

Then again, there where three red cards at Anfield in 1999 so maybe it would be a good omen.

I think it will be close though. The last three games have ended all square and I think Everton will get at least a draw.

The Toffees are even money in the double result market (win & draw) and I can see goals in it too. Possibly 1-1 or 2-2. 

 

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