Preview and Prediction
The Merseyside derby is underway this weekend. Unfortunately, it does not come in the right time. Both sides might be facing physical fitness issue due to the tight fixtures during the international break. This could bring the last minute injury threats for their key men who had travelled across the continent for their national teams. However, this edition encounter could be an interesting turnaround when Everton is currently on the top of the table for the first time in years and definitely above The Reds which are three points below them.
The teams’ previous games
The Toffees had their fourth consecutive wins while hosting Brighton two weeks ago. Dominic Calvert-Lewin once again opened the scoring. Yet, Neal Maupay managed to equalise after taking the advantage of Jordan Pickford’s blunder. Then, it was the showdown of the Colombian connection. Yerry Mina gave them the lead again through his header from James Rodriguez’s corner. Next, the former Real Madrid man himself found the back of the net twice. Brighton only scored a consolation goal afterward by Yves Bissouma.
The Reds, on the other hand, was humiliatingly hammered 2-7 by Aston Villa. Ollie Watkins and Jack Grealish brought the unlikely nightmare to Klopp’s men as the former bagged a hattrick plus one assist while the latter netted a brace plus a hattrick assist. The remaining two goals were scored by John McGinn and Villan’s new signing, Ross Barkley. Liverpool were only able to respond twice through Mo Salah’s brace.
Carlo Ancelotti’s impressive spell in Goodison Park might endure with his 4-3-3 formation. Yet, the possible absence of the key figures such as Richarlison, Seamus Coleman and Andre Gomes plus Jonjoe Kenny, Mason Holgate, Cenk Tosun and Jean Phillipe Gbamin might lead the former Napoli boss to come up with a back up plan, especially for the front trio. James Rodriguez and Calvert-Lewin will be accompanied by Alex Iwobi who played well in the previous game.
Jurgen Klopp might be dealing with the same issue. However, he should be considering the tweak of his preferred 4-3-3 formation, which simply failed, especially since Alisson, Joel Matip, Thiago Alcantara and possibly Sadio Mane miss this upcoming derby. Deploying 3-4-2-1 could stun Ancelotti side. Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho and James Milner may get the nod for the back three. In the midfield, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson are operating on both flanks while Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum or Curtis Jones will be the ones in the middle. Divock Origi could be the targetman while Mo Salah and Firmino or Xerdan Shaqiri will provide some support behind him.
Players to watch
If he is fit, James Rodriguez is expected to lead his team’s attack here. Some other notable names to watch are surely Calvert-Lewin and Michael Keane.
Liverpool’s front three will be incomplete. Yet, Mo Salah will still be the main scorer for them. Another vital figure to watch here is the Dutch Gini Wijnaldum.
Everton vs Liverpool Prediction
This upcoming derby is going to be even more crucial for both sides. Jordan Pickford and Co intend to prove that they are worthy for battling over the top four this season while The Reds need a momentous result to bounce back from the pit. Nevertheless, they could share a point eventually.