Liverpool vs Everton: Allardyce aims to end Anfield hoodoo

Can Sam Allardyce end Everton's 17-game winless run against Liverpool when he takes it to Anfield on Sunday?

Sam Allardyce is enjoying his return to life as a Premier League manager.   -  AFP

Sam Allardyce is enjoying his return to life as a Premier League manager, with his arrival at Goodison Park having prompted a sharp upturn in Everton's form.

The Toffees ran West Ham ragged on the day Allardyce's appointment was announced, giving caretaker boss David Unsworth a fine send-off by beating the Hammers 4-0 in front of a victory-starved home crowd.

Allardyce was in the hot seat himself three days later when Everton dispatched Huddersfield Town 2-0, but the smooth sailing on the blue half of Merseyside might be about to get choppy.

Everton makes the one-mile journey across Stanley Park to face in-form Liverpool on Sunday and, underneath that broad Sam Allardyce smile, there might be more than a few nerves lurking.

'Big Sam' has been around the Premier League long enough to cause most sides a few problems, but Opta's stats reveal that Anfield is not one of his happiest hunting grounds, nor has it been one of Everton's in recent years.

TOFFEES OUT TO SCRATCH SEVEN-YEAR ITCH

Everton makes the one-mile journey across Stanley Park to face in-form Liverpool on Sunday.

 

If Liverpool avoids defeat on Sunday, it will equal the club's longest-ever unbeaten run against Everton (15 matches, set between March 1972 and April 1978).

Indeed, Everton's last Premier League win over Liverpool came at Goodison Park in October 2010, when goals from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta earned it bragging rights on Merseyside after the Reds' first game under John W. Henry's ownership.

That result stands as the only Merseyside derby to have gone Everton's way of the last 21 top-flight meetings between the two teams, with the rest producing nine draws and 11 Liverpool victories.

Toffees fans have to reach back as far as September 1999 to remember the last time Everton won at Anfield, when Kevin Campbell scored the only goal in a 1-0 triumph as Sander Westerveld, Steven Gerrard and Francis Jeffers were sent off.

Since then, Liverpool remained unbeaten against its local rival, winning nine and drawing eight of the last 17 meetings at Anfield, making the prospect of a famous victory all the more appealing to Allardyce.

ALLARDYCE'S ANFIELD HOODOO

As Bolton Wanderers manager, Allardyce picked up one draw and suffered five defeats at Anfield.

 

As Bolton Wanderers manager, Allardyce picked up one draw and suffered five defeats at Anfield, with the Trotters scoring just two goals in the process.

He fared no better there during his time at Blackburn Rovers, succumbing to three defeats against the Reds, and as West Ham boss he managed a solitary draw before losing twice at the famous old ground.

After picking up a 2-2 draw there when he was manager of Sunderland, Allardyce finally got his first win when his Crystal Palace side came from behind to triumph 2-1, courtesy of two goals from ex-Liverpool striker Christian Benteke.

But that is not the only defeat Liverpool fans will remember against sides managed by the one-time England boss.

CAN BIG SAM MATCH REDKNAPP'S RECORD?

Everton's last Premier League win over Liverpool came at Goodison Park in October 2010.

 

If Allardyce can orchestrate his second win at Anfield on Sunday, he will have defeated Liverpool in the Premier League with four different clubs, having already done so with Palace, West Ham and Bolton.

He would share that honour with Harry Redknapp, who defeated the Reds with Tottenham, Portsmouth, Southampton and West Ham.

That record might just rest on how well his side copes with the seemingly unstoppable Mohamed Salah, who has had a hand in 15 goals in his first 15 Premier League games for Jurgen Klopp's side (12 goals and three assists).

Meanwhile, if Sadio Mane gets on the scoresheet, he will become the first player to score in three successive Merseyside derbies in the Premier League since Robbie Fowler in November 1996.

Allardyce will have his work cut out stopping Liverpool's danger men but, if he can, he might just write himself into the Everton history books in his second league game in charge.

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