FollowEverton view on Merseyside Derby for

By • Sep 30th, 2011 • Category: Fan Articles, Interviews, News, Opinion |

Ryan Grant was interviewed by prior to the Merseyside Derby. You can read the full article via the link below:

Who will be the key player for your team in this match?

If he starts in his best position of just behind the striker, Tim Cahill will be Everton’s key player. He has shown his derby prowess in recent years having scored in last season’s Goodison derby, which ended in a 2-0 win
for the Toffees.

If they start, Ross Barkley, Seamus Coleman, Louis Saha and Apostolos Vellios could all be influential in orchestrating a win for the Toffees, but I think defender Phil Jagielka will need to be on top form to keep Liverpool at bay.

Who will be your team’s most dangerous opponent?

Luis Suarez looks a snip at £20m. His technical and finishing abilities have been evident for all to see already this season. Everton will need to keep Suarez quiet should they win this match, but Andy Carroll is a notable mention; he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire thus far but is likely to cause Sylvain Distin problems on Saturday.

Who will be the opposition’s weak link?

The quality of Liverpool’s starting XI has vastly improved since the summer transfer window. Players that would have been deemed a weak link have been sold, whereas the likes of Lucas have improved.

Many Liverpool fans have been on Jordan Henderson‘s back recently and so he could be the weak link in their side.

Which player has a point to make in this derby?

Louis Saha. The Frenchman has hardly seen much action this season after a combination of both injury and fitness problems. His Twitter ramblings did not help matters, but the 33-year-old will be determined to start and score against Liverpool.

Most likely player in your team to see red?

Tim Cahill, Phil Neville, and Tony Hibbert have all had derby troubles in the past, but I think Maroune Fellaini will need to be careful if deployed in his defensive midfield role.

Which opposition player will get booed the most by your supporters?

Everton fans don’t share a fondness for the likes of Steven Gerrard or Jamie Carragher. If they are involved I wouldn’t expect either of them to receive a favourable reception.

Your favourite Merseyside derby memory

The derby success of 2006 brings back good memories. It was Andy Johnson who scored two goals in a 3-0 victory. Liverpool had the better results from derby matches in years before so it was nice to see Everton win for a change.

Your starting XI for the match…

Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines
Fellaini, Rodwell
Coleman, Cahill, Osman

Reasoning behind the team
This is the side I feel the Everton manager will go with. As much as I’d like to see the likes of Apostolos Vellios and Roysten Drenthe start, judging by the players’ comments this week it seems much more likely that the experienced ‘tried and tested’ players will start instead. Everton have a near full strength squad so David Moyes will find it tricky to pick his starting XI, but one thing is for sure; Everton must start with at least one natural striker if they have ambitions to win this game.

Some Evertonians will suggest Seamus Coleman has been ineffective recently, rushed back too soon and should be benched or moved to right-back, whereas others will wish for Tim Cahill – without a goal in 2011 – to be dropped in favour of the impressive 19-year-old striker Vellios. However, most importantly for me, I think Moyes should unleash boyhood Evertonian Ross Barkley. He wasn’t involved against Manchester City last week but I think the England Under-21 international has the ability to unlock Liverpool’s defence and be a key player for the Toffees should he start.

It will be difficult to see Jack Rodwell not start against Liverpool, after an impressive performance against Manchester City last week.

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