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Hull Confirm Gulacsi Recall, and Other Thursday Notes

jose enrique reina swap shirt

With a return to Wembley to face rivals Everton coming up in a few days, it was probably inevitable that most of the Liverpool news floating around the interwebs would be more worried about the near future than the immediate past. That's not entirely a bad thing, though. Because, you know, Liverpool are facing Everton on Saturday. At Wembley. For a chance to head to their second cup final of the season…

* Over on Oh You Beauty, Nate kicks things off in infographic form with a look back at the past fifty years in Liverpool versus Everton, and for any blues out there there's not a whole lot to take comfort in ahead of the weekend. Liverpool have already dispatched Everton twice in league action, and judging by the history of the match about the only chance for the blues is crossing their fingers and hoping they're due. At least it's either that or hoping red cards count the same as goals in the FA Cup, since that's the only category Everton is ahead of Liverpool in over the past half-century.

In fact, over the past fifty years Liverpool have outscored their opponents by a 3:2 margin and won twice for every time they've lost. Moreover, if it wasn't for a rough patch in the 90s the numbers would be even more lopsidedly in Liverpool's favour. More recently, the 2000s represent the club's most dominant spell, with Liverpool coming out ahead of their crosstown rivals 59% of the time. Liverpool's form may be rather poor in 2012, but that hardly seemed to matter the last time the two clubs faced off, and aside from historically being a match where form matters little it's just plain one where Liverpool usually comes out ahead.

* One thing the historical numbers probably don't do a good job representing, however, is Liverpool's current goalkeeping crisis, and on that front Hull City recently confirmed that loanee Peter Gulacsi had been recalled by his parent club. For anyone hoping that Jose Enrique might get a chance to build on his last outing between the sticks should Brad Jones shove over another player in an obvious goalscoring situation while facing a less lenient referee, this would seem to quite clearly signal that the answer is no. It also indirectly confirms that Liverpool has not and will not challenge Doni's suspension, something they have not yet officially confirmed or denied.

* Meanwhile, it appears that though appealing Doni's suspension was never considered as a realistic option, recalling Peter Gulacsi wasn't Liverpool's first choice, either. Though it isn't clear who the club might have had in mind, Liverpool did check with the FA to confirm whether or not they would be able to bring in a new goalkeeper on an emergency loan. Rather unsurprisingly the answer was a straight no, as the emergency loan system is meant to be used by clubs struggling through an injury crisis rather than by clubs who find half of their side—or just most of the senior players at any one position—suspended for one reason or another. When everything is said and done, then, fans should fully expect Brad Jones to start and to see Gulasci on the bench on Saturday.

We'll be back later to take one more look back at Tuesday's match against Blackburn, but in the meantime, why not take a moment for a brief look back at the last time Liverpool faced off against Everton at Wembley…

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