Venue – Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee – Michael Oliver
Date & Time – Saturday, April 7th @ 12:30 GMT
Current Odds – Everton 15/4, Draw 16/5, Liverpool 8/13
It’s been a season to forget for the blue half of Merseyside. The fact that they remain in the top half of the Premier League table with 14 defeats and a goal difference of -15 just goes to show the poor standard of this league outside of the top six. Everton fans don’t seem to be very happy with Sam Allardyce, either. It’s hard to blame them. A manager who doesn’t know what to do unless he’s battling relegation – he has tried his hardest to get the Toffees down into the section of the league where he feels most comfortable since his arrival. It’s not all doom and gloom for Everton, though. Before last weekend’s defeat to City, Everton had won two in a row – one at woeful Stoke and one at home to Brighton.
As the saying goes, the form book goes out the window when it comes to local derbies. Goodison Park is bound to be rocking on Saturday (the away end, that is) and if Everton can perform with a bit of fight they may just snatch a point from a Liverpool team with one eye on Tuesday night’s Champions League game at the Etihad.
The Reds have been playing alright, haven’t they? 🙂 Wednesday night was one of the greatest Liverpool performances I have ever seen and I’ve been watching them since 1989. It was perfect in every way. Not just a juggernaut of an attacking force but the defence looked so, so, so solid against the best (2nd best?) attack in the country. Lovren was a rock on Wednesday. Alexander-Arnold coped with everything City threw at him and found time to attack as well. VvD and Robertson were as good as we’ve grown to expect them to be. I don’t expect to see any more than 75% of the same level of performance on Saturday as Klopp’s team cope with the aftermath of such a game. Liverpool should do enough to at least take a point from Goodison, though.
Everton Team News
Everton will be without Stekelenburg, Holgate, Mangala, Sigurdsson, Gueye, and McCarthy. Allardyce will most likely set them up in their usual 4231 shape with Rooney dropping deeper in midfield.
Everton have no suspensions for this game.
Everton’s Top 3 Rated Players this season – (WhoScored.com – at least 10 appearances)
- C. Martina ——– 6.98
- I. Gueye ———– 6.91
- G. Sigurdsson —- 6.88
Liverpool Team News
Klopp has some more shuffling to do with the return leg with City to think about on Tuesday night. Henderson is suspended for that so he will start the derby. I expect Milner to be kept for Tuesday and Salah won’t be risked on Saturday after picking up an injury on Wednesday. Let’s hope he’s back for the visit to the Etihad. I wouldn’t be surprised to see rare starts for Solanke and Moreno.
Matip, Gomez and Lallana are all out due to injury. Emre Can is still working his way back to full fitness.
Liverpool have no suspensions for this game.
Liverpool’s Top 3 Rated Players this season – (WhoScored.com – at least 10 appearances)
- M. Salah ——– 7.75
- R. Firmino —– 7.51
- S. Mané ——– 7.31
Everton XI (4-2-3-1) – Pickford; Coleman, Jagielka(c), Keane, Baines; Rooney, Schneiderlin; Walcott, Calvert-Lewin, Bolasie; Tosun
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Moreno; Henderson(c), Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mané, Solanke, Firmino
When they last met
The sides have met twice at Anfield already this season. The league game in December was a disappointing 1-1 draw for Liverpool. Salah had given the Reds the lead with a fantastic goal before half-time. Craig Pawson then gave a poor penalty decision in Everton’s favour. Rooney scored from the spot with 13 minutes left.
The FA Cup game was Virgil van Dijk’s debut for Liverpool and he popped up to head the winner with six minutes remaining. This was after Sigurdsson had cancelled out James Milner’s first-half opener.
The last meeting at Goodison Park was in December 2016. Sadio Mané was the hero that day, scoring the only goal of the game in the 93rd minute.
Everton 1 – 1 Liverpool
I think Everton will put it up to Liverpool on Saturday. The Reds are bound to be still refuelling after Wednesday night’s Champions League meeting with City at Anfield. I’d expect a score draw and in the current situation, I would take it if it meant possible progression past City to the Champions League semis.
** Please note – “xGA” in the Form Stats tables symbolises “expected goals against” **