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Thursday, 12 April 2012

Everton vs Liverpool FA Cup SF Match Preview (14/04/2012)

Everton head down to Wembley this weekend to face Liverpool in the FA Cup Semi Final in what promises to be the tie of the round!

Everton Team News: Everton have a more or less fully fit squad to choose from with the exception of Jack Rodwell who picked up a hamstring injury and Steven Pienaar who is cup tied.

Liverpool Team News: Liverpool will be without goalkeeper Pepe Reina and backup keeper Alexander Doni as they are both suspended which means Australian Brad Jones is likely to start in goal for them. In Truth despite Doni possibly edging it on Brad Jones, there’s not a great deal of difference between the two in terms of who Everton would like to see in goal and in some ways Evertonians might of preferred to see Doni in-between the sticks!

The Kick Off Time: The kick off time is terrible and surely this needs to be looked at in the future, The FA have made clear that this was the best possible time because of TV, Rail works etc but try telling that to fans who are rushing round trying to make their lifts at 4am in the morning!

The Referee: Howard Webb will referee this one and is a decent enough appointment and his debatably the best ref we have in this country at the moment. It was worrying that somebody brought to my attention him singing you’ll never walk alone on YouTube mind!

The Form Guide: Everton are the inform team but as you always hear form counts for nothing going into a Merseyside Derby.

The Everton Fans: Everton will have a slightly smaller allocation than Liverpool on the day due to segregation and issues like that, but that wont matter and undoubtedly Evertonians will out shout and out-sing their rivals from across the park.

The Liverpool Fans: The Liverpool fans will be remembering Hillsborough before kick off as will all the Evertonians and it looks set to be a fitting tribute to all those that died that day. Despite our differences when it comes to stuff like this we always come together but come kick off it will be business as usual.

Everton Danger Man: Nikica Jelavic is in hot form and will be determined to score against the reds. Rested against Sunderland on Monday Jelly will be fresh and ready for Liverpool fingers crossed!

Liverpool Danger Man: Steven Gerrard always seems to turn up against us and this shouldn’t be much different. Hopefully Gerrard has used all his luck up when he scored a hat trick against us earlier in the season at Anfield. Some have questioned his influence and Everton fans perhaps hoped he was on his last legs but there’s no doubt he is still one of the best players in the country and his passion alone for Liverpool makes him a constant threat.

Everton’s Weakness: Possibly on the left wing, with Magaye Gueye the likely starter. Gueye has come into the team when Pienaar has been cup tied and has constantly improved to be fair to him but until the last week or so Everton fans could name the team apart from that position with him or maybe Drenthe the most likely candidates. Moyes could surprise people and play Osman on the left and Coleman or something on the right but this seems really unlikely.

Liverpool’s Weakness: It would have to be the goalkeeper Brad Jones although with all he’s been through in the last year or so then the press will be building up for a Hollywood ending and despite him possibly not being match fit he’s still a good goalkeeper.

Everton’s Manager: The superlatives David Moyes has received this season have been thoroughly deserved but ultimately it means little to Moyes if he cannot pick up silverware. With Moyes linked with the Man United job in the next year or so then the next two years could be massive for Everton.

The Liverpool Manager: In my opinion Daglish has shown Everton respect this season when he’s been interviewed post and prior to the Derby games but the pressure is building on the Liverpool manager and although they wouldn’t admit it a defeat to us might have some of the diehards questioning whether he is the right man to lead them.

Everton’s Secret Weapon: Although he’s hit the net recently Tim Cahill has scored fewer goals than he would have liked this season but a goal against Liverpool would be the perfect time to get back on the goal trail.

Liverpool’s Secret Weapon: Andy Carroll scored against us earlier in the season and was by all accounts it was one of his better displays. With rumours of a summer departure (although this is never going to happen as it would be acceptance by Daglish that maybe he had made a bad signing!) Carroll needs to pull something out of the bag to live up to his big reputation and price tag, let’s hope he doesn’t get anything on Saturday!

Dream Scenario: Tony Hibbert bagging the winner in front of the travelling Evertonians! In reality a win of any sort will do nicely!

Our Prediction: Everton 3-2 Liverpool (Everton win after Extra Time!)

Final Score Was: 2-1 to them!


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