Time To End Derby Day Blues
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Sunday's Merseyside derby gives Everton Football Club the perfect opportunity to prove just how far they have progressed since this time last season.

It has been widely reported that the Toffees have made their best start to a Premier League season since they finished fourth in the 2004/05 campaign.

An opening day victory over Manchester United has been followed up by some equally impressive away results at Aston Villa and Swansea and Everton are sitting pretty in fourth place.

On the contrary, Liverpool's form has been somewhat indifferent since the arrival of Brendan Rodgers and the Anfield outfit are currently languishing in 12th with only two victories from their opening eight fixtures.

However, at the risk of sounding like a stat starved football pundit in desperate need of a cliché, 'form goes out of the window when Everton and Liverpool meet.'

The FA Cup semi-final last season was the latest of a long list of clashes between the two clubs to back up that point.

The blues league form heading into the Wembley fixture was impressive to say the least. Some of the football being played was nothing short of scintillating and with their neighbours struggling for confidence and results, Everton were widely tipped as favourites.

What happened next however, has become something of a regular occurrence when the Merseyside rivals meet.

Everton choked.

Nikica Jelavic opened the scoring in the first half and there was a sense that David Moyes' men would finish the job and have another chance to end their long wait for silverware.

It was not to be however as the Toffees simply stopped playing after that goal and some criminal defending handed victory to Liverpool.

Sunday afternoon gives the Goodison Park outfit an opportunity to put to bed any fears of a Liverpool hoodoo and prove that their impressive start can become an impressive campaign.

All biased aside, when comparing the two it is difficult to argue against Everton having the stronger side, although the creativity of suspended Steven Pienaar will be missed.

The time has now come to prove it and nothing short of a win will suffice if the blues want to be regarded as the dominant force on Merseyside.

Last season's league position would suggest that over 38 games, Moyes' squad were better than their Stanley Park rivals despite Dalglish's men claiming all six points in the two league visits.

Granted, a ridiculous Rodwell dismissal at Goodison was matched by an equally ridiculous team selection for the Anfield tie which saw Everton's second string roll over in a 3-0 drubbing.

All that aside, wouldn't it be brilliant for Moyes to send out an eleven capable of handing out a footballing lesson to their fierce rivals and give their opponents / officials no chance to ruin it.

All will become clear on Sunday - you'd be a fool to miss it.

Follow The Gwladys Street Preacher On twitter @GaryMaidenEFC

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Comments about Time To End Derby Day Blues
COYB, let's 'ave em this time, eh?! They're shyte and we can play em off the park. Would prefer it if Pienaar was available, but even without him we're by far the better side. It's time to believe, boys.
Chizzy, Chatteris, 11:09 AM 27/10/2012
Message to Alfie at 4. Off to Tenerife on Sunday and good old Sky have done the fxtures as usual! So excited but gutted! Early flight so should get to see the game IF I know where to head for. Any tips on where to head to be sure to see the game? We are staying at Costa Adeje. Thanks!
Bruiser ray, Donny, 11:38 PM 26/10/2012
Who will the ref send off first...Neville, Hibbert, Fellaini? There's bound to be refereeing controversy - there always is when we play them at Goodison. Also, for some reason, we always let them have the psychological edge over us. When they're not doing very well, or they have something to commemorate, it's always 'Merseyside Together', and we fall for it and go soft on them. However, when lfc are doing well, they couldn't give a stuff about us.....all psychology from a wholly unpleasant club.
Sam, Cheshire, 12:41 PM 26/10/2012
Peanuts is going to be a big miss, but if Fellaini is back (+ Gibbo), the tam should be full of confidence. We were playing scintillating football when we met them in last seasons' semi and pyschological problems clearly affected the performance. The players need to believe they are better than the shite, because it's true. We've added since and have a better, more blanaced team capable of beating anyone on their day. We need to go at the horrors from the start and not give them any foothold in the game. The only danger from them is that horrible turd, Suraez. If we can keep limit his impact then we've got a good chance of overcoming what is starting to feek very much like a hoodoo COYBB!!!!!
Alan Newton, London, 5:58 PM 25/10/2012
My worst fear is getting an early lead, as it will be backs to the wall for the next 90 minutes. Why can't we go into these games confident of scoring more than one goal? The current shite side are no more than average, yet we seem to treat them as if we were playing Barcelona. This mindset has to come from Moyes,and regardless of his many managerial skills, I fear he will alway's set us up to lose in these games. No one will be more delighted if, this coming Sunday,we wipe the floor with them horrible shirt burners, but I again fear the worst.
Lennie, West Kirby., 1:49 PM 25/10/2012
Andy, Khartoum, Sudan, 1:14 PM 25/10/2012
If (and I mean If) we play to our full potential and Moyes doesn't go all cagey & defensive (like last season) then we really can thrash the RS into next week....... but...... I predict the usual let down :-(
H, In Work, 12:56 PM 25/10/2012
We were on a great run leading up to the semi then for that game. Peanuts was cup tied. He's missing Sunday. Make of it what you will.
Jake, L4, 9:30 PM 24/10/2012
I really believe we've got this in the bag, even though we won't be able to field our strongest team we will still have a strong team available and let's be honest Liverpool are shit!!!
ste , Newton , 8:01 PM 24/10/2012
Nobody LOVES EVERTON any more than me , i have supported them for all my 59 years . My first debacle in a derby game was clive thomas at Maine rd and over the years i have seen EVERTON kicked in the gonads by the officials , guess what i do not expect this sunday to be any different . Oh how i wish for an honest Referee .
Nil Satis Alfie, Tenerife, 7:27 PM 24/10/2012
I wish I could believe Moyesie is as committed to winning these games as the fans. You just get the feeling he hasn't 'got it' yet, even after ten years of them :o(
Tony, Stoneycroft, 5:39 PM 24/10/2012
If our midfield is missing I have my doubts about what we can get out of this game. They will have more local players than us and that can make a huge difference whatever the form book says. If Felli and Co play then we should go at them from the start and that should be enough to see them off. But it's a derby..............and any repeat of the second half at Wembley will speak for itself.
Spectator, Crosby, 2:30 PM 24/10/2012
Always seem to be going into the derby pessimistic! Even if we were top and they were bottom i still would be! Wouldn't it be great if we could begin to change that come sunday COYB FTRS!!
Callum, cheshire, 2:16 PM 24/10/2012
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