sport news The BIGGEST Merseyside derby in Premier League history as top of table Everton ...

Ten years is a long time in football, most pressingly so when that period marks a duration of misery and humiliation.

Saturday sees the return of the Merseyside derby and it is a decade since Everton have left with bragging rights and pulled off victory over noisy neighbours Liverpool.

Ten long years of hurt as dominance swayed firmly in the favour of the men in Red. Yet now, as the Premier League makes its return following the international break, a very different derby lies in wait.

Jurgen Klopp knows the eyes of the world are on him

Carlo Ancelotti looks to be bringing in a new dawn

Jurgen Klopp (L) and Carlo Ancelotti (R) will lead their teams into the biggest derby in years

Liverpool may enter the match as reigning champions of England once more, but a bizarre 7-2 thrashing by Aston Villa prior to the international break has left Jurgen Klopp's men on the ropes with everything to prove.

Everton, meanwhile, are very much in the middle of a purple patch. The Toffees are unbeaten, top of the table, and clicking into full fluency under the magic touch of Carlo Ancelotti.

So, as one of English football's biggest fixtures returns - amid the uncertainty of a city very much struggling with rapidly escalating coronavirus concerns - Sportsmail takes a look at why this is indeed the biggest Merseyside derby in Premier League history. 

Age-old foes

Football fanatics pencil this fixture into their diaries at the start of every season.

The Merseyside derby always promises a throwback to football of yesteryear; high octane action and a passionate will to win.

The 1980s saw the Merseyside derby as the fixture of English football. Two northern powerhouses battling out for far more than bragging rights, but a shot at title glory.

In the late seventies, spilling into the eighties, Liverpool were the team to beat. 

Everton's growth in stature saw the fixture shaken up like never before. In 1985 and 1987 the Toffees ousted their great rivals to stand as kings of England, and the derby quickly became associated with full-blooded tackles and snarling insults.

The seventies and eighties saw both sides do battle as two of the best teams in the country

The seventies and eighties saw both sides do battle as two of the best teams in the country

Since, the derby has retained its steel and venomous edge, yet Liverpool's dominance has turned proceedings more into a case of Everton upsetting the apple cart, rather than pushing their neighbours to the brink. 

Now, things are much different. Everton have started the season better than anyone else, and boast one of the most decorated and well respected managers in world football.

Ancelotti is now firmly steering the ship in his own direction, and putting his fingerprints all over the blue side of the city.

Ancelotti's Toffees

After taking over from the doomed tenure of Marco Silva, Ancelotti made clear to the Everton board he would take on their sizeable task providing he was given full control.

Now, coming up to one year at the helm, Ancelotti finally has the team he wants after a summer of steady purchases and tactical planning.

The veteran Italian acquired his desired talisman in James Rodriguez after striking up a relationship with the Colombian at both and Bayern Munich.

Everton started the season better than anyone else and sit at the top of the table unbeaten

Everton started the season better than anyone else and sit at the top of the table unbeaten

Behind James, Ancelotti has remastered the midfield, adding tenacity and dynamism in the form of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure.

The three summer signings have become an instant hit at Goodison, and it is a shame fans have not been permitted inside the famous old stadium to watch them make a fine start to their Everton days.

Allan and Doucoure have so far expertly managed the pace and tempo of games while James has been afforded time and space to dissect opponents and feed the in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Things are firmly clicking at Everton at the moment, with Ancelotti's firebrand football in full flow.

For one man, that could spread concern...

Klopp versus Ancelotti

If there is one manager Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp struggles against it is Ancelotti.

The grey-haired Italian has enjoyed several victories over Klopp on the big stage, with his Napoli team regularly out-smarting Liverpool despite inferior resources.

When these two managers meet, a game of tactical chess is always guaranteed.

In eight meetings with Ancelotti, Klopp has won three and lost three with two - including the most recent Merseyside derby (which was Ancelotti's first) - ending in a draw.

Despite his surging success in recent years, Klopp appears to struggle against Ancelotti (left)

Despite his surging success in recent years, Klopp appears to struggle against Ancelotti (left)

Ancelotti has a way of reading Klopp's methodology and making sound predictions as to how the German will shape up his side.

This season, Ancelotti has the benefit of being able to do this once more except with a greater degree of talent at his disposal.

read more from dailymail.....

PREV sport news SECRET SCOUT: Hull's Lewis-Potter is a vibrant young talent, but needs to ...
NEXT sport news Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk offer Neco Williams their total ...