Everton and Liverpool fans are already having a battle of terrace anthems in the Transfer Tavern ahead of the Merseyside derby this weekend.
The two clubs, separated by the slim distance of Stanley Park, face each other at Anfield in the Premier League’s early kickoff (12.30pm) on Saturday.
There have been countless battles between the Toffees and the Reds before, but the coming instalment feels particularly important. Everton will be just three points behind their local rivals if they win on Saturday, which could have a huge bearing on qualifying for Europe come the end of the season.
But former Liverpool forward Stan Collymore, who made 64 Premier League appearances for the Reds, believes this weekend’s clash could well go on to have much bigger implications.
He claims an Everton win would underline Ronald Koeman’s legitimacy in the Goodison Park hot seat ahead of the summer transfer window and, when combined with Farhad Moshiri’s recent investment, could provide one of the first steps in the Toffees overtaking their trophy-laden rivals to become the city’s biggest club.
Collymore wrote in his column for Mirror Football; “It is a huge game… and if Everton beat Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, it will be even bigger than that because it represents a major step forward for the club and boss Ronald Koeman as they look to close the gap to their neighbours.
“Because a win would massively cement Koeman’s ability and credibility for a clear-out of one or two pieces of deadwood at Goodison this summer and mark the changing of the guard that is required.
“And if Everton get their recruitment right over the next two or three windows, and if they get their new stadium right, then they have a chance of overtaking Liverpool as the biggest club in the city.
“Liverpool, under FSG, don’t have a hell of a lot of money to keep going to the well to buy the £50m-£60m signings they need to kick on to the next level.
“Farhad Moshiri has signalled his intent with a £300m commitment on that new Everton stadium and while he might not have the same sort of money Roman Abramovich has, we saw how quickly things changed for Chelsea under first Matthew Harding and then the Russian.”
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