‘Confident’ - Everton legend looking forward derby with Liverpool

The Toffees appeared to have renewed vigour and direction as they beat Arsenal on Saturday.

Former Everton midfielder Leon Osman believes Everton will head into next week’s Merseyside derby feeling ‘confident’ due to a combination of Liverpool’s poor form and their inspired win over Arsenal at the weekend.

Sean Dyche enjoyed a perfect start to the life on Merseyside as his side edged out the Premier League leaders 1-0 thanks to a James Tarkowski header. It saw them move up to 18th and it was their first three points since October.

Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds collapsed to a 3-0 away loss to Wolves ahead of next Monday night’s derby at Anfield.

Speaking on Match of the Day 2, Osman said: “I was nervous a couple of weeks back, but when you see how easy Liverpool are to score against and how difficult it is for them to find goals, even talking about their midfield it looks slight when you compare it to the team Dyche put out against Arsenal - it had power, physicality and pace to cover the distances at both ends. I think Everton will be confident going into that game.”

Of course, Everton fans did celebrate a win at Anfield as recently as 2021, but sadly, the game was behind closed doors as Carlo Ancelotti’s side enjoyed a rare win over Liverpool. But prior to that, the last time they won at Anfield was in 1999.

Osman went on to claim he believes their instant turnaround under Dyche is a result of the manager understanding the squad better than former boss Frank Lampard.

“I think that Dyche is using the players and doing what they are capable of. The players are able to outmuscle opponents, they thrive on crosses, they want to play all action and playing through the thirds - I don’t think they were capable of what they were being asked to do.”

Dyche’s more simplified tactics resulted in perhaps Everton’s best performance of the season so far and now they head into a derby ready to go toe-to-toe with a Liverpool side that are currently reeling from a run of only one win in seven.