Preview: Everton vs Liverpool

Everton vs Liverpool

Faced with the prospect of Celebrity Advice Bureau, Last Tango in Halifax or Sir Lenny Henry: A Life on Screen, the 227th Merseyside Derby, between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park (8.00pm ko), is an absolute godsend for a Monday night.

Ordinarily this fixture between the bitter blue half of Liverpool and the demonstrably more successful and currently high-flying red half of the city would take pride of place in the Saturday fixtures. However, a benevolent soul at the Premier League must have suspected that the Monday before Christmas was going to be a barren evening of reruns and laughter-lite sitcoms and shifted this game to rescue households up and down the land – well, one household at least.

Arsenal found that Goodison under the lights is a pretty raucous place and not an easy place to get a result. For Liverpool the experience will be something else altogether. There are two fixtures Evertonians absolutely demand three points from each season and both involve playing the team from across Stanley Park.

Divock Origi, Liverpool’s Belgian centre forward who was injured in the last derby in April this year, has done little to dampen the tension around the city by declaring that the Reds are prepared to go to war! Well done, Divock. That’s sure to calm the atmosphere in the stadium.

This is one of those quintessentially British games where form and talent go out the window and frenetic, blood and thunder football rules … for 90 minutes at least. 17 red cards in games since the turn of the Millennium are testimony to that!