The Merseyside Derby is one of the biggest and fiercest derbies in England, and it usually would mark as high priority on either of the teams’ calendars. But this season, the derby couldn’t have come at a worse time for Liverpool. Sandwiched on either side of a Champions League quarterfinal clash, Liverpool will be in a dilemma whether to field a full-strength side or just rest their important players ahead of the second leg against City on Tuesday. For Everton, however, this gives them the best chance to win an encounter against their arch nemesis for the first time since 2010. Complete match analysis for EVE vs LIV is drafted on FanFight.
Liverpool had one of their classic European nights during the midweek handing out a 3-0 humbling of Manchester City. In the league, they have won 4 out of their last 5 encounters and have fewer defeats than all teams barring Manchester City. They start the day 10 points ahead of Chelsea, with all but assured of a Champions League spot.
Everton’s recent form have been typical of their entire season – inconsistent. With 3 losses in their last 5, Everton will start the game at Goodison as underdogs. Despite their horrendous start to the season, Everton sit in 9th position; but that has more to do with the inconsistency of the teams across the league rather than Everton’s brilliance.
Everton have just managed to beat Liverpool once in their last 22 league meetings (D10, L11), including failing to win the last 14, with the last win coming in October 2010
IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE
Four of the last five encounters at Goodison Park have ended in a draw with Liverpool sneaking out a 1-0 win last season
AT GOODISON PARK
A win against Everton would ensure 10th away victory for the second consecutive season – a first for the Reds since the inception of the Premier League
Liverpool have scored 75 goals in the league, the second highest in the league behind Manchester City
Another goal for Mohammed Salah will make him the first African to score 30 goals in a season in the Premier League
The Merseyside Derby has seen 21 red cards handed out to players – the most in any fixture in the league.
Everton players have seen red 14 times in the derby – the most red cards handed to a team against a particular opposition.
In the context of the season, and with the focus on the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinal, this is not as important a match for Liverpool. Mohammed Salah limped out early in the second half of the first leg, and it is highly unlikely he will make an appearance in the derby, even if fit. The loss of Lallana, Matip and Can to injuries have forced Klopp to register five youth players with the Premier League before the derby.
Given his heavy workload, it is also likely that Roberto Firminho will be rested along with James Milner. Lack of other options could see Mane starting the game while Henderson, who will miss the second leg due to suspension is expected to start.
Player to watch: Danny Ings(LIV)
Danny Ings, who missed a major part of the season is expected to lead the attack in the absence of Salah and Firminho, and it will be interesting to see how the Englishman does in the limited opportunities he gets.
For Everton, Siggurdson will continue to sit out due to his knee injury but the Toffees will be glad to welcome back Idrissa Gueye, who missed last week’s encounter with Manchester City due to a hamstring problem. Everton also welcome back Ashley Williams after 3 games after he was sent off against Burnley
Player to watch: Yannick Bolasie(EVE)
The Congo midfielder, who also missed a major part of the season to injury, can be a threat to the Liverpool fullbacks with the pace he brings to the table. He also scored in Everton’s defeat last week and will be looking to carry forward that vein of form in the Merseyside Derby
Liverpool (expected teams): 4-3-3
Karius; Alex-Arnold, Van Dijk, Lovren, Moreno; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Solanke, Ings, Mane
Everton (expected teams): 4-2-3-1
Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Jagielka, Baines; Schneiderlein, Gueye; Walcott, Rooney, Bolasie; Tosun
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