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Liverpool vs Everton

Rory Fitzgerald

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Sunday May 5th 2013 - KO 1.30pm

Live on SkySports1



Everton over the season


Everton have been a very competitive team all season. Only once have they conceded 3 goals in the league (3-3 at home to Villa) and even then they were not beaten. They have lost only 6 league games this season - only Utd (4) and City (5) have lost fewer. 4 of the 6 defeats were by 1 goal and the other by a scoreline of 2-0 (one of which was away at Old Trafford). Of those 6 defeats, 5 were away from home showing just how hard it is to win at Goodison this season. However, their problem has been draws and at 14 for the season, they are joint highest with Norwich.


Away from home Everton concede the 4th fewest amount of shots on goal and have the 3rd highest shots on goal in away games - Liverpool top this stat ahead of City and Everton.

However, Everton's away form over the past 6 matches is the 4th worst with a record of P6 W0 D3 L3 scoring only 3 but conceding just 7. Their last away win was 02-Jan-13 up at Newcastle when they won 2-1.



Possible Line-up


In the past 6 games, Everton have used 4 different set-ups*;


  • 4-2-3-1 (home to City & QPR and away to Sunderland)
  • 5-3-2 (home to Stoke - Coleman and Baines were WB's with 3 CB's so call it 5-3-2 or 3-5-2)
  • 5-4-1 (away to Spurs - same as Stoke except Mirallas was a striker who dropped off so it was a bit more conservative than Stoke at home)
  • 4-4-2 (home to Fulham)

(* Stoke and Spurs were similar set ups. However, whereas Anichebe & Jelavic started vs Stoke, Mirallas partnered Anichebe at White Hart Lane and looked to receive the ball a bit deeper - hence its been labelled a 5-4-1 rather than 5-3-2.)



The use of the 3 man backline with 2 wingbacks in those 2 consecutive games may be due to the enforced absence of Fellani & Pienaar through suspension. Missing these 2 key players may be the reason for the change in system.


Given that Everton should have a full compliment of players and considering that 4-2-3-1 has been their system of choice this season (including their set up at home vs Liverpool earlier in the season), I have worked off that basis.





Coleman Jagielka Distin Baines


Gibson Osman


Mirallas Fellani Pienaar





Possible replacements:


Defence: Heitinga and Hibbert though he only just returned to fitness since December (calf injury) so could make the bench but thats it in all likelihood.


Midfield: Neville in the center, Naismith on the right.


Attack: Jelavic (Gueye has gone on loan. He played 50mins of Premiership football this season and 45mins were against us in the 2nd half at Goodison). Denis Stracqualursi is no longer there anymore (he started last season at Anfield).




General Set-up



1. Firstly, we all have a general idea that Everton have been very effective down their left side given the form of Baines and his ability to link up with Pienaar. The graphic below shows the attack profile of Everton this season. No side favours one side of the pitch as much as Everton does with 43% of play going down their left.




2. Secondly, the graphics below show the average position of the Everton players. The average position of Baines (No.3) generally reflects the 1st graphic in that he attacks a lot. But it also shows that it allows Pienaar (22) to come in off the left to play through the inside left channel. Other players are Gibson (4), Osman (21) Fellani (25), Mirallas (11) and Naismith (14) - these 2 players are covered below.




3. Thirdly, there appears to be a distinction in how Everton operate depending on who plays down the right – either Naismith or Mirallas. Whilst I think that Mirallas will play there, he appears to float somewhat more than Naismith who holds his position more on the right. The average positions above show Naismith closer to the touchline and the heat maps below also bear this out.





Players of Interest


Kevin Mirallas was bought £6m from Olympiacos after scoring a very impressive 34 goals in 52 league appearances. Possessing pace and skill in abundance, Mirallas is at his best when running at opponents attempting 59 dribbles more than any other Everton player and edging out the attack-minded full backs of Coleman (2nd) and Baines (3rd) in the 'successful dribbles per game' stakes. To contrast the 2 'wide' players, Pienaar on average passes the ball twice as much as Mirallas per game but the Belgian attempts (again, on average) twice as many dribbles per game than Pienaar. However, of note, Everton go down the left an awful lot so Pienaar is bound to see more of the ball.


Leighton Baines is 1 of only 2 outfield players to have played every minute of every Premier League game this season, Matthew Lowton of Villa being the other. Baines has attempted the most crosses in the Premiership this season (325) and achieved the highest number of successful crosses (98) i.e. 1 in every 3.3 attempted which is fairly good. Again, this is another reflection of Everton's focus on the left. The effectiveness of Baines is also reflected in the 'Key Pass' stat i.e. passes that lead to a shot. Its exceptional that a full-back tops this stat at 110 this season considering the closest competition i.e. David Silva (93), Steven Gerrard (91), Luis Suarez (90), Santi Carzola (88) and Juan Mata (83). To provide some counter-balance, all those players have either the same or (in most cases), more assists than Baines which is probably reflective of the types of passes i.e. most likely Baines are from crosses whereas the others are perhaps more likely to be through-passes resulting in a better quality of chance.


Marouane Fellani is Everton's top goalscorer with 11 goals and has chipped in with 6 assists. However, he has only scored 3 in his last 15 league games. Fellani is perhaps the most combative player in the Premiership as he has notched up the most fouls (76) and earned 8 yellow cards though no reds.




Possible Liverpool Set-Up



Its fair to say that the set up changed at Newcastle and its reasonable to assume that it may remain the same with the key feature being Coutinho playing in the 10-role rather than coming in from the left. This would see us playing a variant of a 4-2-3-1 / 4-4-1-1.



Johnson Carra Agger Enrique


Lucas Gerrard


Downing Coutinho Henderson





The following graphic is from the recent Newcastle game. There are few things that will be of interest;



1. Henderson's heat map shows a player that didn't stretch the play, rather, he fulfilled roles across midfield partly to help press the play when of the ball but also partly due to Sissoko coming infield. If Mirallas does play down their left/our right, Henderson could compress space by tucking in but there would have to be due consideration from him and Enrique when Coleman comes forward.



2. Downing's heat map is not that remarkable but I have put it up as a good contrast to show the activity from the right wing and the left 'wing'. Again, with Downing more likely to naturally stay wide, this will be beneficial off the ball with Baines coming forward.







The stats say Everton are hard to beat and even when they are beaten they are in it until the last kick of the game. They have also recorded the highest amount of draws in the league. However, in 17 away games, they have only kept 3 clean sheets so they are not watertight. In 17 home games, Liverpool have kept 9 clean sheets though worryingly conceded 2 goals in 6 of those 17 games. All in all the friendly derby will probably result in a rash of cards. However, whatever the result, the two clubs have a unique relationship.



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Would love us to be 2-0 in the 90th minute, get a pen in front if the Kop for Carra to take, score then launch himself into the Kop and not come out

Edited by Cobs
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I'd have that as a pretty spectacular end to the effective season

End of his career. Mental celebration, leap into the Kop get halfway up the steps before being mobbed and we never see him again

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I'd be alright with him turning up again tbf


he turns up in Australia 2 years later, under an assumed name and with a massive afro, playing for a lower league team - his new name is Jordan Carruthers


in the meantime, Purslow, Ayre, Moore Parry Hicks Gillet and Lawrenson have all disappeared

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I am hoping Suarez dives in front of Moyes again.


Clambering down from the main stand, and then running in front of Moyes and diving.


I was like "What da fuuuuc", until I read the 2nd line and got a visual image. Not so much the diving but the frantic scrambling down to get onto the pitch with that big toothy grin :lol: Like a kid trying to get to the ice-cream van before it pulls away.

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I was like "What da fuuuuc", until I read the 2nd line and got a visual image. Not so much the diving but the frantic scrambling down to get onto the pitch with that big toothy grin :lol: Like a kid trying to get to the ice-cream van before it pulls away.


it is that mental image that makes me want him to do it.


Might start tweeting him and asking

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I am hoping Suarez dives in front of Moyes again.


Clambering down from the main stand, and then running in front of Moyes and diving.

i want a biting celebration. whoever scores has to run over and gnaw on brendan's arm.

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