Rare Everton derby win would dent Liverpool's Premier League title hopes
Liverpool face Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday aiming to sustain their Premier League title bid by winning what has become Europe's most one-sided big-city derby.
Since the start of this decade, no major club has endured such a lengthy wait for victory against their local rivals as Everton, who have not beaten Liverpool in any competition since goals from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta secured a 2-0 Premier League win at Goodison in October 2010, a game that was the first since Fenway Sports Group bought the Anfield club.
Liverpool's recent dominance of the fixture means that they have avoided defeat in their past 18 encounters with Everton, and that run exceeds any unbeaten stretch in Europe's major leagues since 2010.
Over the past decade, only the derbies between Barca and Espanyol and Juventus and Torino have been similarly one-sided; like Everton, Espanyol and Torino have managed only one victory each against their more successful neighbours over that period.
But Espanyol last tasted victory over Barcelona as recently as January 2018, when they were victorious in a Copa del Rey fixture, while Torino can point to a 2-1 Serie A win against Juve in April 2014.
Everton's wait for a win is now approaching nine years -- they have not won at Anfield since September 1999 -- but victory Sunday would not only end their miserable run but also inflict real damage upon Liverpool's hopes of a first title since 1990.
Former Everton midfielder Kevin Kilbane, who played in a 1-0 win against Liverpool in December 2004, believes his former club must get back to basics this weekend in order to beat Jurgen Klopp's team.
"If Everton lose to Liverpool again on Sunday, this season will be a write-off," Kilbane said. "They haven't really recovered since losing at Anfield to Divock Origi's injury-time goal in December, but there is big pressure on Marco Silva to find a way to get his team to win this weekend.
"Everton have developed a mental problem in games against Liverpool now, but in recent times, they have tried to beat Liverpool by taking them on and, when you face a team with better players, that isn't going to work."
Kilbane says that Everton can draw experience from the way his teams used to approach derby day.
"When I played, we had players who would make it a battle and stop Liverpool's quality from coming to the fore, and Everton need to get back to that," he said. "I think they have players, like Idrissa Gueye and Andre Gomes, who can be nasty in midfield, and that's what it will take to disrupt Liverpool.
Everton's winless run bears similarities to Manchester City's lengthy wait for a victory against Manchester United, with the blue half of Manchester enduring a 13-year barren spell from September 1989 to November 2002.
City's record was not helped by three relegations during that period, which saw them drop as low as the third tier of English football and ensured they did not meet United for five seasons. When they did end the run, victory came at the 17th time of asking.
For Everton, it is 18 and counting ...