Everton and Liverpool meet at Goodison Park on Sunday for the 219th Merseyside derby.
David Moyes’ men head into the game arguably favourites, having created a six point gap between themselves and their neighbours from across Stanley Park.
A win for Everton would see them create a nine point gap, something that even at this early stage would look difficult for Liverpool to make up.
Brendan Rodgers heads into the game with his side on the back of three consecutive clean sheets, the latest coming against Anzhi in the Europa League last night.
Stewart Downing, who grabbed the winning goal in that fixture could start at left back after Glen Johnson was substituted at half time with a muscle spasm.
Pepe Reina is expected to miss out once more with a hamstring injury, with Brad Jones continuing to deputise.
Everton will be missing two of their key players, with Steven Pienaar suspended following his harsh red card in the Premier League clash at Loftus Road last weekend, and Marouane Fellaini is missing with a knee injury.
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Liverpool
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