Everton travel to Liverpool this afternoon for the 228th Merseyside derby (12.30pm kick-off) as the Premier League returns following a fortnight of internationals.
Ronald Koeman’s men have been in excellent form since the turn of the year, winning seven of their ten Premier League matches, and suffering just the one loss at Tottenham a few weeks ago.
In fact, that 3-2 defeat at White Hart Lane is their only loss since the reverse Merseyside derby, in which Sadio Mane netted a last-minute winner to seal the victory for Jurgen Klopp’s men at Goodison Park on December 19.
However, the Toffees are a different proposition now, and will take great confidence from their recent run to Anfield this afternoon, knowing that all three points would take them up to fifth in the table, for a few hours at least.
Manager Koeman, who has been embroiled in a war of words with Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill in recent days, has made a few changes to his starting eleven, with youngster Mason Holgate coming in for the injured Seamus Coleman, and Matthew Pennington also getting the nod in defence.
And, unsurprisingly, several Evertonians took to Twitter immediately after the team was announced, with a few hoping that the eleven published was nothing more than an April Fool’s joke…
— Boss Barkley (@barin_rogue12) April 1, 2017
— Everton nan (@phillym64) April 1, 2017
However, on the whole, many Toffees supporters are thrilled with the starting line-up, and are thus in a buoyant mood as their side look to win at Anfield for the first time since 1999…
— Alex Hives (@AlexHives) April 1, 2017
— Daniel Irving (@danirving1986) April 1, 2017
— Lee (@Lee_EFC) April 1, 2017
— Matt Pini (@von_helmet) April 1, 2017