Merseyside Derby offers up Saturday treat

Liverpool will be out to build on their recent impressive form when they make the short trip across the City to face local rivals Everton.

Wins over West Ham and Bolton made it a good week for Brendan Rodgers and his men as they continued their pursuit of the top 4 and moved into the 5th round of the FA Cup.

Star of the show in recent weeks has been Philippe Coutinho. The diminutive Brazilian has been in fine form of late but the plaudits were lauded midweek, amongst them Barcelona star Neymar, following another strong performance that included a winning goal against Bolton.

His manager, Brendan Rodgers, was one of those to heap praise on the midfielder, claiming he has the potential to follow in the footsteps of Luis Suarez.

“You would pay money to watch the kid,” claimed Rodgers. “He is a great role model for lots of technical players in this country.

“Luis Suarez grew and grew in this team and I can see Coutinho the same way, although he might not be as prolific.

“Signing a new deal shows he is really committed to Liverpool and his development.

“He will become world class in the next couple of years.”

Coutinho will once again be the creative force for Liverpool on Saturday with the player set to line up alongside Raheem Sterling, Steven Gerrard and Adam Lallana in the Red’s attack.

That means that Daniel Sturridge will once again be on the bench as he is eased back into the action following 5 months on the sidelines. Sturridge scored last weekend in the 2-0 win over West Ham United, a result that extended their unbeaten run to 7 games in the league.

Lazar Markovic is expected to be fit despite suffering a knock against Bolton while for Everton, James McCarthy (hamstring) is set to start while new signing Aaron Lennon will also be involved.

Tim Howard, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar remain sidelined for Saturday’s hosts. Everton have won 1 of their last 7 games, a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in their last outing and have not won at home since a 3-1 win over QPR in December.

Footybunker.com