MERSEY RED MIST Startling red card stat ahead of Merseyside derby as Coleman sounds rallying cry
Everton captain Seamus Coleman believes his side have a 'great chance' to end the club's long wait for a win against Liverpool in Saturday's eagerly anticipated Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
In-form Everton head into the game after a flawless start to the season that has seen them collect four wins and catch the eye with some impressive performances.
Meanwhile, champions Liverpool are aiming to bounce back from a 7-2 drubbing against Aston Villa in their last match and Coleman is urging his team-mates to embrace the challenge.
"It's a great chance for us," Coleman told the Everton website, as he prepares to return to action after missing the recent Republic of Ireland games due to injury.
"We know they're a top team, as everyone knows. But the XI we've been putting out so far in all competitions has been strong and, for me, with football (there's something), you can't buy it, results bring it, and it's confidence. And we have that now because we're playing well."
Coleman went on to confirm all in the Everton dressing room appreciate the importance of this game, as the Toffees aim to secure a first win over Liverpool in 23 matches.
"I think everyone understands (the importance of the derby), I've been here 12 years now and this club means everything to me," he added.
"We've had some good times, we've had some bad times but I think, for me, it's just important that the people who are working here realise what it means to be an Everton player, what supporters expect from Everton players and it's my job to get that across to the new group of players, and old players as well."
Meanwhile, referee Michael Oliver may have a big job on his hands on Saturday as the Merseyside derby is the game that has seen the most red cards during the Premier League era.
A total of 21 red cards shown in the 56 derbies contested since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, which adds up to 0.38 dismissals per meeting, way above the average 0.11 per game.
Fourteen of the 21 have been shown to the Everton players, with former Toffees captain Phil Neville and ex-Red skipper Steven Gerrard both sent off twice in this fixture.