Nothing fills a back four with confidence than if their keeper is clearing his lines with an assured attitude, and Everton have one of the best stoppers in the league in Tim Howard. The USA international maybe in his thirties, but has not lost any of his immense talent and put on a masterclass in the Europa League clash against Wolfsburg. The biggest thing in Everton’s favour is they have an extremely difficult to penetrate defence. The Toffees back four have the confidence in their keeper and it makes it near impossible to break down. The other positive for Everton is the counter-attacking threat their defenders pose and the fact they contribute a lot of goals to their sides cause. Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka can get the ball from defence into the attacking phase in a matter of seconds and Liverpool’s defenders will need to be on their guard to prevent getting caught on the break.
Although former Chelsea star Romelu Lukaku is usually the figurehead of all Everton’s attacking moves, they boast a wealth of attacking threats from all over the pitch. Baines is a threat not just on the counter as has been previously touched upon but also from the set-piece with one of the most vicious left foots in the Premier League. They have been strengthened by another Stamford Bridge export in Samuel Eto’o, while in the midfield the talents of Gareth Barry and Darron Gibson can provide the industry to create plenty of chances. With the likes of Aidan McGeady and Steven Naismith as options to come off the bench, Everton have plenty to cause Liverpool problems.
The biggest change that has been seen under the tutelage of Roberto Martinez is Everton have got a self belief in themselves to come back from any situation. Even in the eventual 6-3 defeat by Chelsea earlier in the season, Everton still threw everything forward and kept in the hunt until the final whistle. With Liverpool lacking confidence after a shaky start to the season, Everton will believe they have an ideal opportunity to upset the apple cart and take bragging rights on Merseyside. They are enjoying a confidence brought about by their return to the Europa League and will enjoy trips abroad throughout the season. For true Toffees fans though, nothing will match leaving Anfield on Saturday afternoon with three points, and Martinez will be hoping he can give the fans exactly what they want.
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