Everton are top of the Premier League and primed to end decade of derby futility vs. Liverpool

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Everton are top of the Premier League. Two weeks ago, they were top of the UK iTunes chart, knocking Miley Cyrus into second position, thanks to downloads of “Spirit of the Blues,” a song that usually reverberates around Goodison Park just before kick-off on matchday, by supporters determined to enjoy every moment of the club’s resurgence.

It’s been a while since things have been this good for Everton, Liverpool’s neighbours and rivals, but when Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League champions visit Goodison for the Merseyside derby on Saturday, it will be the blues looking down on the reds for once. And there is a growing belief that it may not be a flash in the pan.

Right now, under manager Carlo Ancelotti, Everton sit atop the Premier League, with four wins from four games (seven in seven in all competitions), and striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin joint-top of the scoring charts with six goals. Summer signing James Rodriguez has sprinkled stardust over Goodison Park, and belief and optimism is flowing through the club and its supporters.

Since winning 1-0 at Tottenham on the opening weekend of the 2020-21 season, Ancelotti’s team have been rampant, hitting five goals past West Brom and four past Brighton, racking up 12 goals in just four games. With Liverpool next up and managing a spate of positive COVID-19 tests within the squad, plus the after-effects of losing 7-2 at Aston Villa before the international break, there is a growing sense that Everton have what it takes to beat their old rivals and sustain a challenge for Champions League qualification.nfl nike jersey cheap2

Saturday will mark exactly one decade since their last derby victory — a 2-0 win at Goodison Park, with goals from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta — and Everton’s fruitless ruin at Anfield stretches back to 1999. (Yes, they haven’t won at Anfield this century.)

During David Moyes’s 11-year spell as manager, between 2002-2013, Everton were dour, tough to beat and even qualified for the Champions League by finishing fourth in 2004-05, but they were rarely entertaining or cavalier. And they always seemed to finish seventh.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Since Moyes, a succession of managers — Ancelotti is their fifth permanent manager in seven years — have tried and failed to win and entertain. Some have been unable to do either, but 10 months after arriving to replace the sacked Marco Silva, Ancelotti has given Everton the confidence that they can challenge Liverpool again.

If they win on Saturday, don’t even think about telling Evertonians they can’t “do a Leicester” by emerging as champions this season. Everton are a big, historic club, and they’ve waited too long for the optimism generated by Ancelotti and his team.

But Saturday is big in so many ways. Winning is one thing, but getting rid of that inferiority complex against Liverpool is something Everton have been desperate to do for years.