Thanks for reading and commenting. Andy has signed off.

Here are some things worth reading this afternoon:

Emmanuel Adebayor back in the groove for Tottenham

In memory of backpasses (1863-1993)

He fought with Zlatan and Roy Keane – is Mido the man for Zamalek?

Enjoy the match

Guardian staff

Right, I'm done now. Thanks for your questions and apologies for not replying to them all. Hope we get a repeat of November's derby tonight and that Martin Atkinson isn't the centre of attention.

Updated

foddersbackagain asks:

Do you agree with this assessment that Everton's relative success is from looking outside the box in their approach. Liverpool are trying to buy success and so are ultimately doomed to failure as their resources are lesser than Manchester City, Chelsea, United and Arsenal.

Everton, on the other hand, have a chance of relative success (Champions League) because they cannot play that particular game and so concentrate their energies on a long-term transfer strategy of picking up bargains such as Coleman, developing young players (Barkley), and fostering team spirit a through the use of a base of local players (Baines and Jagieka were purchased but were originally Everton juniors), such as Osman, Hibbert, and foreign players who are not obviously mercenaries.
Guardian staff

Not sure about your Liverpool assessment but think you're spot on about Everton. The club has no option but to give young players and bargains a chance - and a longer run in the first team than they'd get at Liverpool or United. While a lot has been made about Martinez's use of the loan market he has bought well in James McCarthy and given John Stones (a Moyes signing) plenty of opportunity this season, so he is developing the core of the Everton team.

BrigadierCrispbread asks:

Do you think Martinez might be overplaying the Everton injury list and when the team is announced there will be positive surpirises among the Evertonians? Also, what do you think of Traore (surely the most common name in European football)!
Guardian staff

He could be, he's done that before, although he certainly wasn't as upbeat yesterday as he was before going to Manchester United and that was entirely due to the injury list.

mike65ie on Brendan Rodgers:

The contract was a three-year deal to make Liverpool competitive again. Obviously owners can move the goalposts if it suits them and pay off a manager, but as things stand, Rodgers is "ahead of schedule". Finishing a "good" 5/6th while disappointing would not be plausible grounds for dismissal.

Guardian staff

Agreed.

Rodgers signed a three-year contract with the option of an extra year if both sides are happy. I would expect that option to be activated this summer.

Bluedylan asks:

Any chance you could provide a more balanced analysis Andy, rather than one massively favouring Liverpool? Also Liverpool were much worse against Villa, than we were against West Brom. A number of our injuries are strongly rumoured to be available, just to let you know. Coleman is out, but there's apparently good news on Barkley, Jags, Distin and Pienaar.

Guardian staff

Bit paranoid there Bob. Put on 'Positively 4th Street' and cheer yourself up.

Martinez has been known to be economical with the truth when it comes to availability, shall we say, so you could be right. Jagielka had a scan on his hamstring injury yesterday and the Everton players were told not to report for training until 6pm to give them more time to recover from the Stevenage cup tie.

AgainstModernFootie asks:

Hi Andy, as a Liverpool fan I would prefer to see David Moyes in the opposite dugout instead of Martinez, the Spaniard can be too positive in his approach sometimes. What do you think?

Guardian staff

Given David Moyes never won at Anfield as Everton manager - and Martinez has with Wigan - I'm not surprised by your preference.

bacilledekoch asks:

In his last few press conferences, Brendan Rodgers seemed to lament the lack of players and the lack of transfer activity. Unusal as he is always (overly?) positive.

Do you think he is sending a message to the owners? Is there a power struggle on at the club with the transfer commitee et al?

Guardian staff

In terms of a message to the owners, I'd say definitely.

A difference of opinion on what Liverpool need is arguably a better description of the workings of the transfer committee.

StuartHenderson asks:

I'll pretty much watch any football, but for some reason the Merseyside derby just doesn't excite me; also television has destroyed my ability to read more than eight words without getting bored and wandering off. Therefore, please convince me to watch the Merseyside derby using no more than eight words. Thanks.
Guardian staff

Easy - the last one was great.

cavelier5 asks:

As a Liverpool fan, Barry and McCarthy are what worry me the most about tonight's game. If they play well and control the game, especially early on, then our pretty limited looking midfield might struggle, then Suarez and Sturridge don't get much of the ball.

Andy - any idea if Joe Allen is fit for this one? If he isn't then we literally have only two fit central midfielders at the club.

Guardian staff

This will be key tonight. McCarthy, who has been excellent for Everton from day one, and Barry have to limit the supply to the Liverpool strikers - especially if Martinez's injury assessment proves correct and the visitors line up with a back-line of Hibbert, Stones, Heitinga, Baines.

Allen has a chance but, like Martinez on the prospect of playing Barkley, Rodgers said he can't afford to risk losing the midfielder for the long-term.

GordonBrown12 asks:

If Liverpool fail to qualify (again) for the Champions League this year, is Brendan's number numbered?

Guardian staff

I think that would be incredibly harsh. A top four finish was the target for this season - and I'd guess most people thought that was a tall order for Liverpool with Tottenham's spending - and he has kept the club in contention throughout so far. Obviously, the small matter of Luis Suarez's phenomenal form has helped but there has been clear improvement at the club. Rodgers deserves every opportunity to complete the task by being backed in this transfer window.

pabloelbrujo asks:

If you scored a 90th minute winner in this derby how would you celebrate?
Guardian staff

Sidfishes asks:

A well known bookmaker is giving the unbelievable odds of 4/1 for a Liverpool win (for new customers). Should I be taken outside and given a good hiding for betting against my team?

Guardian staff

seeneenoz asks:

My cousin (a Liverpool fan) said to me that he thinks this Everton squad is on its way out, lots of ageing players and over reliance on the loan market. What is your opinion on the prospects of this Everton squad, and are Liverpool really in a better position?
Guardian staff

Four loan signings - the maximum allowed - does not help with long-term stability but Martinez has used the market well to help bridge the gap on, as he put it yesterday, "the six clubs who have the budget to challenge for the title and do something in Europe. Liverpool are one of those."

Everton could not afford to buy Lukaku from Chelsea, simple as that.

Defensively they are on the veteran side - and rebuilding Everton's defence will be a big test for Martinez - but Coleman, Stones, McCarthy and Barkley are all young and under contract.

Anyway, it's what's happening now that matters.

MikkysGel asks:

Do you reckon Roberto Martinez has ever thought anything was 'alright' or 'pretty decent like, but nowt special'?

Guardian staff

Not even a serious injury can derail the Everton manager's optimism but you have to say it's rubbed off on everyone around him.

chocolatbear ask:

In terms of individuals, who do you think has the best goalkeeper, defence and midfield of the two teams?

Normally when I look at the two teams in the Merseyside derby, Liverpool's boasts far more quality than Everton's. However, apart from the attack, in which Liverpool is obviously superior, I now feel that Everton have as many, if not more, quality players. I'd choose Howard over Mignolet, Baines and Coleman over Johnson, Enrique or Cissokho. Jagielka first choice out of all the CBs, perhaps with Skrtel? And then in MF, Coutinho has disappointed, as has Moses, Gerrard is too old, Lucas isn't great, Sterling's still young but not the finished product. What do you think?

Guardian staff

Goalkeeper - I would have said Mignolet before Christmas but now I'd have them on a par.

Defence - Everton

Midfield - Everton

Forward line - Liverpool.

Cue outrage.

boc610 asks:

Would you agree that there is an endemic failure at Liverpool to properly play the transfer market and bring the right players in? Beginning primarily with Houllier - and going right up to Rodgers - an entire Pannini book could be filled with the overpriced failures that have come to Anfield over the last decade or so.

Granted, some of Rodgers signings need time but I am alarmed that three of our defensive line alone – Sahko, Mignolet and Llori (who is now out on loan) – tots up to a whopping £32m (Migs has cost us points over the last two months, some absolute howlers being made him yet very little being made of it) Even our loan players this season have flattered to deceive. Is it just bad luck?

Guardian staff

Liverpool's record of wasting money is superior to most, yes. It can't be bad luck when it is repeated over and over again under different managers and owners.

Rodgers signed up to FSG's plan, including the 'transfer committee', and so has to be diplomatic when it comes to answering questions on Liverpool's transfer policy - as he was throughout yesterday's press conference. But there were a few hints at his frustration. I don't think it's a coincidence that his comment about "getting quality players will help you get there quicker" - or words to that effect - has been employed frequently of late.

leemarvinismyhero asks:

Would Duncan Ferguson take Neil Ruddock in a fight? as they were back then - not now

Guardian staff

Elfeesh asks:

This will be an interesting game, both sides are depleted badly by injuries – especially at the back. Liverpool are on a complete second team for the back line while Everton only retain Baines in theirs. Could ultimately be a contest between the strikeforce, which will still be a pretty close run thing. I would expect Sturridge and Suarez to win out but with Liverpool it's nigh upon impossible to call.

My question for Andy is – Liverpool's midfield is clearly below standard and the back four are shaky. Henderson is often eclipsed when Gerrard is on the field and Gerrard himself is certainly something of a liability as a "quarterback". Would you expect to see Liverpool be dominated in the middle of the park or would you expect the occasion to bring something more out of them? Despite my slating of Gerrard, he often tries especially hard during the derby.

Guardian staff

I think Gerrard does more than 'try hard' in the derby in fairness. He's been a key figure in countless derbies and in preserving Liverpool's unbeaten home record against Everton since 1999.

But, yes, his shift to a deeper role has not been plain-sailing, especially in the first half against Aston Villa when Liverpool badly missed the protection given by Lucas. With Lucas out and Joe Allen a doubt for tonight, Rodgers may have no option but to persist with Gerrard and Jordan Henderson in central midfield. I can't see them giving as much space to Leon Osman or Kevin Mirallas or whoever plays 'in the hole' for Everton as they gave Villa's Andreas Weimann.

kingboru asks:

Which team do you think will be most affected by their injury woes going into this match? Cheers

Guardian staff

Taking both managers at their word - I know, it's not the wisest move - Everton could have 11 players missing tonight and Liverpool 7.

Where it balances out is in defence. Both teams have been hit badly in that department and could have defences that are short on match fitness and experience tonight. Given the form of Luis Suarez and Romelu Lukaku going into the game, you'd back the Liverpool striker to prosper.

CosmicTrigger asks:

Would you agree that for the first time in ages Everton fans genuinely fancy their chances at Anfield and that is down to the more positive approach Martinez adopts (especially away from home) than his predecessor? It should be a great spectacle with both tams playing good attacking football.

Guardian staff

Right, let's get started. And hello CosmicTrigger.

I would have said you were absolutely right before the injuries kicked in at Everton. There was a real belief that Everton's poor record at Old Trafford was about to end before the game in December, and that stemmed from their form going into the game and Martinez's positive approach. That is not the case going into this derby, with Everton looking laboured in their last league game at West Bromwich Albion and injuries only increasing since then.

Updated

Andy will be here from 1pm

Good afternoon. Andy will be here from 1pm to answer your questions, but in the meantime here are some of our previews for tonight's derby:

Steven Gerrard speaks about the derby in our pre-match interview

Liverpool have not lost a Merseyside derby at Anfield for more than 14 years but memories of that September night in 1999 still burn in Steven Gerrard. That is hardly surprising, given he collected the game's third red card for a thigh-high foul on Kevin Campbell and was later confronted in a restaurant toilet by an angry Everton striker with his trousers around his ankles. Continue reading

Leighton Baines backs Everton for Champions League

Roberto Martínez has described Leighton Baines' decision to sign a four-year contract at Everton as a mark of confidence in the club's Champions League prospects. He could be without 11 first-team players when trying to enhance those top four claims at Liverpool on Tuesday, however. Continue reading

Brendan Rodgers confident of facing Everton – video

Brendan Rodgers praises Liverpool's form ahead of Tuesday's Merseyside derby. Only a point separates Liverpool and Everton going into the game, in what could be one of the most crucial Merseyside derbies in recent years. Rodgers says both sides will be confident and expects a frantic match following the 3-3 draw between the sides in November. Watch the video

And if you want to read about something completely different, here is Adam Hurrey from the Football Clichés writing about the lost art of the backpass

Drop your questions in the comments sections below. Enjoy the webchat.