The 230th edition of the Merseyside derby takes place this afternoon at Anfield in the 2017-18 FA Cup Third Round — the 24th time the rivals have met in the world’s oldest football competition and the first since Liverpool’s epic 2-1 victory over Everton in the semifinals of 2012.
Anfield will be at its capacity of 54,074 while the entire Anfield Road End (seating over 9,000 spectators) will be comprised of Everton support. If you’d like a more visual understanding of how this match divides the city of Liverpool, here’s a neat photo from The18’s Evan Kiesow showing the sightline to Everton’s home of Goodison Park from within Anfield. Goodison is just 0.8 miles away.
And so you’re either a Blue or a Red in Liverpool (with apologies to Tranmere Rovers supporters), although the global stature of two clubs that’ve combined for 27 league titles means that fans will be flocking from around the globe for this one, and that’s where the trouble begins — that’s how the “scourge of modern football” rears its ugly head again.
You can bet the whole of Philippe Coutinho’s transfer sum on the fact that a few brave merchants outside Anfield will be peddling unsightly, and in this case unfathomable half-and-half scarves. The globalization and gentrification of English football makes this a certainty.
But that doesn’t mean they’re accepted around the ground. In fact, Merseyside Police have proactively issued a statement on half-and-half scarves in light of recent derbies.
Also before we get asked again, no we can’t arrest anyone wearing half and half scarves as it’s not illegal........ yet— Merseyside Police (@MerseyPolice) January 5, 2018
It’s a special occasion; it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event for those traveling from outside British shores. But please refrain from purchasing half-and-half scarves commemorating derby matches. While the piece of fabric is not a crime yet, that’ll change when law enforcement adopts its own version of the VAR — Precogs who can pre-visualize the atrocity and preemptively sentence you to life in solitary confinement.