Anfield plays host to the first Merseyside Derby of the 2014/15 campaign on Saturday, with both city rivals faltering during the early stages of the season. Liverpool claimed three points against Southampton on the opening day, and looked like the side that challenged for the title as they beat Tottenham Hostpur at White Hart Lane last month, but have fallen to defeats away to Manchester City and West Ham United and at home to Aston Villa – a poor start yielding just 6 points from five matches. Everton started with a pair of 2-2 draws, away to Leicester City and home to Arsenal, and lost 6-3 at home to Chelsea before claiming their first victory away at West Brom – last week’s home defeat to Crystal Palace saw the Blues stay on 5 points from their opening five. Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez both endured long nights for differing reasons in the League Cup on Wednesday. The Reds made hard work of the visit of Middlesbrough, drawing 2-2 after 120 minutes before eventually claiming a 14-13 victory in a remarkable and high-quality penalty shootout, whilst the Blues fielded a much-changed side and lost 3-0 away to a stylish Swansea City side. Derby meetings between these famous neighbours carry an obvious weight of significant but there’s extra edge to this one, given how each have started the season – supporters will be focused on their city rivalry either side of the weekend but of longer-term importance is keeping in touch with league rivals as the table begins to move towards autumn relevance.
Continued at: http://www.theredmentv.com/blog/p/15683.
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