Speaking on Sky Sports both before and after Everton's 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion on Monday Night Football, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher thinks the Blues will be the favorites when the Merseyside Derby kicks off on Sunday:
"I think for Everton tonight to go and get that big win and go into it ahead of Liverpool, they'll be favourites going into it.
"With the form both sides are on, they're at home as well and then they will be looking to create a gap of four or five points if they could win it."
Though both sides are coming off 3-2 wins against lower-table sides, the manner in which those victories were achieved could not be any more different. Liverpool scored early and led throughout, but kept allowing Aston Villa back into the match with trademarked calamitous defending. Everton, on the other hand, overcame a two goal deficit to win, showing the kind of persistence and fight that Liverpool have been lacking since the departure of Suarez.
The result might be a one-off (and a comeback victory in a league match from 2 goals down is something Everton had not managed in 21 years), but as Carragher pointed out, the overall difference in form between the two sides has been noticeable so far in the campaign.
Everton go into the weekend a point, four positions, and a +6 goal differential ahead of Liverpool, with wins so far over Southampton (0-3), Chelsea (3-1), and a draw against Spurs.
Carragher acknowledged the struggles Everton have had in Derby games over recent seasons, but thinks the confidence is there this time around:
"At times I have felt Everton have had a mental block going into derby games, but they go into it above Liverpool, they are at home and will fancy their chances."