This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…

Former Manchester United and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has told talkSPORT that the Merseyside derby is “a thousand times better” than the Manchester derby.

What did he say?

Liverpool will face the Toffees at Anfield tonight in the 234th meeting between the two sides. The Reds currently top the table by eight points, whilst their opponents are 17th in the table, but that does not mean it is a foregone conclusion that the home side will prevail.

Speaking before the match, the former USA international said: “It will always be the biggest game.

“The Merseyside derby is the greatest game I’ve ever played in.

“It’s a thousand times better than the Manchester derby. Anyone who tells you differently is just pulling your leg.”

Has a point

The 40-year-old played the biggest part of his career in the Premier League. Whilst he only participated in two Manchester derbies whilst he was with the Red Devils, he took part in 17 Merseyside equivalents during his time with Everton. As such, there could be an argument to his claims being a little biased.

However, there is some logic to what he’s saying. With the two teams’ stadiums separated by less than a mile, Liverpool-Everton creates a genuine feel of a close-knit community being temporarily divided and the rivalry running through family lines.

Compare that to Old Trafford, which is in Stretford – not even central Manchester – and the old adage that a strong proportion of United’s fanbase actually reside in London. You have to wonder how seriously some of the Red Devils’ fans from further afield take the local rivalry.

But perhaps more importantly, if you ask United fans who they want to win the league out of City and Liverpool, the former would likely come out on top according to a recent poll from Manchester Evening News. That tells you all you need to know about which of the derbies is bigger, more intense and more ferocious.

Much harder than you’d think… Can you name Liverpool’s top scorers for each of these 25 seasons?

Meanwhile, Liverpool fans react to one star’s finish in the Ballon d’Or vote.

Jonathan Radcliffe