EPL: Liverpool host Everton in 280th derby
A rejuvenated Everton make the short trip to Anfield having recorded back-to-back wins in the top flight for the first time this season, but Sam Allardyce will be aware that defeat to their rivals would wipe out his bright start at Goodison Park
Liverpool vs. Everton
Venue: Anfield Stadium
Kick off: 3:15PM
Liverpool head into the 280th Merseyside derby with Everton sitting in fourth place in the Premier League table and having scored 15 goals in their last three matches in all competitions.
A rejuvenated Everton make the short trip to Anfield having recorded back-to-back wins in the top flight for the first time this season, but Sam Allardyce will be aware that defeat to their rivals would wipe out his bright start at Goodison Park.
Liverpool only sit in fourth place in the table – 14 points adrift of leaders Manchester City – and needed to win their final group game in the Champions League in order to progress through to the last 16, but that does not tell the whole story about the current mood at Anfield.
Since being thrashed by Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool have put together seven wins and two draws – one of which came against Chelsea – from nine matches in all competitions with five clean sheets also being recorded during that period.
The opposition have not always been the best, but Liverpool’s attacking players have found their groove both home and away with 32 goals coming from those nine matches, with Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino contributing all but eight of those strikes.
Salah continues to be Liverpool’s main man this season with the Egyptian remaining at the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts, but Coutinho can be the difference maker, providing that the Brazilian can stay fit and Liverpool can hold onto his services at least until the end of the season.
With Everton having won three games in a row in all competitions, and recording nine goals and three clean sheets in the process, it would be easy for everyone associated with the club to get carried away with their recent upturn in results.
However, while optimism is at its highest for a number of months, facing a rampant Liverpool on opposition territory will realistically dampen expectations and supporters who will be more fearful of a heavy defeat than having confidence of a fourth win on the bounce.
That said, the club’s players have not put a foot wrong since Allardyce walked into Goodison Park, and the former England boss will no doubt drum into his first-team squad the importance of being disciplined against arguably the second-best attack in the division.
Allardyce will place faith in Wayne Rooney to add to his seven league goals for the season, but the onus is now on Gylfi Sigurdsson to finally live up his price-tag of £45m after failing to build on his sparkling campaign with Swansea City.
Liverpool possible XI: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Lovren, Milner, Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Coutinho, Salah, Firmino.
Everton possible XI: Pickford, Kenny, Keane, Williams, Baines, Gueye, Davies, Lennon, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin.