Monday night saw the draw made for the third round of the FA Cup. There were a number of interesting ties to come out of the hat, perhaps none more so than Liverpool v Everton. The Reds will take on their local rivals at Anfield shortly after New Year. Astonishingly, the tie means that Liverpool could play Everton five times before February.
As it stands, the local rivals only have two fixtures scheduled. Jürgen Klopp will face the Toffees on Wednesday night in the Premier League and on the weekend of the 4th of January in the FA Cup.
However, both teams are in the quarter finals of the League Cup. The Reds will play Aston Villa and the Blues will take on Leicester City. If both teams progress then they could be drawn together in the League Cup semi finals, meaning they will play each other home and away in January.
To further clog up the Merseyside Derby schedule, if the New Year’s FA Cup tie ends in a draw, there will be a replay shortly after. This comes together for a potential five, FIVE, Merseyside Derbies in the space of about six weeks. This could prove tricky for the Reds if it transpires.
You do not want to have to play a team that regularly, particularly when you are the side expected to attack. The Toffees are likely to make these games wars of attrition, sieges in football typically benefit those defending.
Playing Everton regularly will give them the advantage of experience in keeping us out; they will become accustomed to the movement of our players and will be able to prepare accordingly.
Whilst The Ev aren’t in the best of places at the moment, any team that plays us a few times in a row will have the benefit of experience. We shouldn’t be rubbing our hands with glee just yet.