The most eagerly anticipated Merseyside derby in recent memory?

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Everton’s metamorphosis under Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti has led them to the top of the table going into this season’s first Merseyside derby.

However, it’s a derby which has largely disappointed in recent years. 

Over half of the fixtures between the two teams since 2013 have finished in 0:0 or 1:1 draws – with late goals often playing a part.

Everton fans are hopeful of a good, landmark result to take advantage of their great start to the season.

It’s optimism that Evertonians are feeling following their strong start, and a manager with a pedigree as illustrious as Ancelotti’s bolsters that. The 61-year-old three-time Champions League winner has 20 career trophies to his name, in countries all over Europe.

His Everton record has gone under the radar, with last season’s strong finishes from Liverpool and Manchester United taking the limelight post-lockdown.

Everton sat 18th in the table after their 5-2 loss to Liverpool on matchday 15, a result which led to the sacking of Marco Silva in early December. Following Ancelotti’s appointment, Everton lost just six of the remaining 23 games in the league – where they lost nine out of 15 under Silva before his dismissal.

A player who has shone in this purple patch is Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The in-form forward leads the goalscoring charts in the Premier League this season, and with a goal on his England debut, his confidence is sky-high right now.

Comparatively, Liverpool’s start to the season has been strong with four wins from five Premier League games but not remarkable, especially when juxtaposed with their previous season’s start.

This includes their shocking 7-2 loss to Aston Villa, in a Premier League season which is showing off to the currently home-bound fans.

With the start this Premier League season has gotten off to, this fixture could once more live up to its reputation, which has been somewhat tarnished over recent seasons. 

The fixture takes place on Saturday 17 October. Exactly 10 years to the day since Everton’s previous derby win, a strong 2-0 result at Goodison Park, with Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta netting on the day.

Everton fans will be hoping for a repeat of that result this coming weekend.