What’s been happening in the world of football on Merseyside this week? Jennifer Jewell gives us the scoop….
City Spoil Merseyside Final Hopes
It looked all set to be an all-Merseyside final in the Capital One Cup with Liverpool’s penalty shootout win against Stoke on Tuesday and Everton arriving at the Etihad on Wednesday evening with a 2-1 lead. That all changed when Manuel Pellegrini’s side beat the Toffees 3-1 on the night, putting an end to Merseyside’s dream final. So it will be Man City who face the Reds on 28th February, and Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp is undeniably excited about his first final with the club; there’s no doubt of the outcome he’s hoping for: “Wembley is a cool place to play football but we go there to win – it’s not much fun to lose.”
Suarez Missing Anfield?
Luis Suarez has once again declared his love for his old club by saying he would only play for Liverpool should he ever return to the Premier League. The former Reds striker is now flying high at Barcelona and is currently La Liga’s top scorer, but he has said he misses match days at Anfield. The 29-year-old told ESPN, “I have missed the fans. The atmosphere [at Anfield] is incredible, it’s incredible…They know that they are in my heart.” Is there a single Liverpool fan who wouldn’t have him back in a heartbeat?
Everton’s Poor Defence
Everton’s defence has been well below par this season. With the worst home defence record in the Premier League, conceding 22 goals at home, it’s no surprise the Toffees are underachieving this year. Fans are understandably frustrated, even more so knowing that Romelu Lukaku, with 15 goals, is just one goal behind top scorer Jamie Vardy. Wednesday’s defeat to Man City was the seventh time the Toffees have conceded three or more goals this season – a worrying and unacceptable stat in the eyes of many Evertonians. With injuries throughout the season for Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Seamus Coleman at various times, Everton haven’t managed to look organised at the back, but they need to figure it out – and quickly.
As we approach the close of the January transfer window, there are bound to be a few surprises. Steven Naismith left Everton last week, making the move to Norwich City as expected. Everton fans are hoping for a replacement before the transfer window shuts, and the Toffees have reportedly opened talks with Sporting Lisbon forward Islam Slimani, who has scored 21 goals for both club and country this year. Liverpool fans are also hoping to see one or two new faces arrive at Anfield this week. Hot target Alex Teixeira still seems to be the man Klopp wants but Shakhtar Donetsk have insisted they won’t sell him for less than the 70 million Euros release clause.
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