Liverpool and Arsenal seek derby lift-off

2014-09-26 16:12

London – Age-old derby rivalries will take centre-stage in the Premier League tomorrow, with Liverpool hosting Merseyside neighbours Everton and Tottenham Hotspur visiting sworn north London enemies Arsenal.

The fixtures are among the most colourful in the English football calendar and they carry extra weight this weekend as all four teams are seeking to kick on after underwhelming starts to the season.

Liverpool narrowly lost out to Manchester City in last season’s title race and Everton finished fifth with a record points tally, but they are currently 11th and 14th respectively ahead of their showdown at Anfield.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has described his team as a “work in progress”, but he believes that the visit of Everton can act as a springboard for the season.

“We know we need to be better. We know we need to improve our performance levels,” said Rodgers.

“The derby gives us an opportunity to do that. It provides a platform to go on a good, consistent run.”

Everton went down 3-2 at home to Crystal Palace last weekend, but although they have not won at Anfield for 15 years, manager Roberto Martinez says they will approach the game with a positive attitude.

“The defeat against Crystal Palace, there was something spooky about it,” he said, in reference to the fact that Palace had also won 3-2 on their previous visit to Goodison Park in April.

“The last time we beat Liverpool at Anfield was September 27 (in 1999), so I hope the spookiness carries on at the weekend.”

Having won 3-0 at Aston Villa last weekend following three consecutive draws, Arsenal are starting to move in the right direction and go into the game with Tottenham in fourth place.

But they lost 2-0 at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League and were dumped out of the League Cup in mid-week by Southampton.

Tottenham have now gone three league games without victory, but manager Mauricio Pochettino remains determined to see his side finish above Arsenal for the first time in 19 years.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal faces an injury crisis in central defence ahead of his side’s home game with West Ham United.

The Dutchman will hope to see a vastly improved defensive display after United let slip a 3-1 lead to lose 5-3 at Leicester City last weekend.

Second-bottom Burnley will go in search of their first win of the campaign when they visit West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, while under-pressure Newcastle manager Alan Pardew takes his side to Stoke City on Monday.



Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea v Aston Villa, Crystal Palace v Leicester City, Hull City v Manchester City, Liverpool v Everton, Manchester United v West Ham United, Southampton v Queens Park Rangers, Sunderland v Swansea City


West Bromwich Albion v Burnley

Monday (1900 GMT)

Stoke City v Newcastle United

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