Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has predicted that Liverpool will beat Everton in this Wednesday’s Merseyside derby, in what would be a massive blow for Roberto Martinez.
The Toffees have had an underwhelming campaign to date and are not in the running for European qualification.
This has led to speculation that the Goodison Park outfit could axe Martinez this summer and look for a fresh approach with a new manager.
Everton travel to take on cross-city rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday but also have an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United this weekend to keep in the back of their minds.
As such, Nicholas has predicted that the Reds will claim the spoils in the grudge match and put more misery on Martinez’s shoulders.
“I don’t think Roberto Martinez can afford to give Liverpool a free swing at this,” he wrote on Sky Sports.
“Liverpool could turn them over quite badly and the Everton fans have already started to turn on their manager and they’re fed up with his excuses.
“Putting all your eggs in the FA Cup basket is dangerous, especially as it’s not going to help their confidence against Manchester United if they go into the semi-final on the back of a hiding from their rivals.
“For me he has to go for the strongest team and, while I think Liverpool will win regardless with the way Jurgen Klopp’s men are playing, it could be three or four if Martinez plays a weakened team. If I offered him a draw right now I’d have no fingers left.”
Nicholas predicted that Liverpool would win the clash 2-1 and backed Divock Origi to continue strong recent form and score the first goal.
Both Merseyside outfits have chances of winning silverware in cup competitions but this Premier League meeting will still be massively important for the respective fans.