Everton Streak into Merseyside Derby

Everton were scuffling a bit as this Premier League season started, winning just once in their first six games. They have since turned things around in a big way, winning five of their last seven matches. They were unbeaten in three November contests and they head into this weekend’s Merseyside Derby in great form. Everton have climbed to sixth in the table, sitting on 22 points after 13 matches.

The fixture schedule always gets busy in December. Seven league contests mean the Toffees’ ability to either challenge for European football or fall to mid-table obscurity could be determined. They kick-off the hectic month with a trip to Anfield for the Merseyside Derby against their rivals in red.

Everton Streak Into Merseyside Derby

Fancy and Filthy

It has taken a while for the back-line to settle in this season, but the Toffees have been scoring with regularity all campaign. They have been held goalless only twice in 13 games. Most of the scoring punch has been provided by Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson. They each have six goals this season, with Sigurdsson also chipping in two assists. The Icelandic midfielder orchestrates the Everton attack. His passing and vision allow him to keep things flowing and he is also master set-piece taker. After having his shot cleared off the line early in the second half this past weekend against Cardiff, he kept taking chances. He was rewarded when the saved rebound from Theo Walcott’s shot landed right at his feet. In his current form, Sigurdsson was never going to miss and he slotted home the match winner.

Richarlison was brought to Everton in a big money move this past pre-season. The 21-year-old has not disappointed. He has six goals in his first eleven appearances for Marco Silva’s side. He has shown versatility to his scoring as well, with three right-footed, two left-footed and one headed goal. Richarlison bring all the tricks and magic you would expect from a Brazilian attacker but he also has a bit of steel about him. He netted a brace against both Wolves on opening day and Brighton to begin November. This weekend, he will get his first taste of the Merseyside Derby.

Midfield Mettle

Idrissa Gueye has been immense in the middle of the pitch this season. He leads the squad in passes, tackles, and interceptions. When a player can be as active and influential as the Everton man has been, he can appear to be all over the park. Gueye is the crucial piece that propels this team in midfield. Andre Gomes has begun to settle in after his summer transfer and his introduction to the squad has paid dividends. The Toffees have three wins in his five appearances this season. Morgan Schneiderlin and Tom Davies have also rotated in and out of the midfield spots so far. Gueye has the ability to dictate the flow of a game at times but will be tested in the Merseyside Derby. Liverpool’s up-tempo pressing style aims to make their opponents uncomfortable.

Ending the Streak

The Merseyside Derby has been a rather one-sided contest lately. It has been 17 matches since the last time Everton got a victory over their rivals, a streak that dates back to 2011. They enter this rendition of the rivalry on one of their best runs of form in recent memory. The Toffees will need to continue that good form if they expect to bring all three points back to Goodison Park. Liverpool are currently second in the table and unbeaten in 13 league games. The likes of Richarlison and Sigurdsson will need to continue their fine attacking form. It is likely that multiple goals will be needed to even get a result at Anfield. Everton have been flying high the past two months, so this may be their best chance for some time to cover the Merseyside Derby in blue.

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