Everton v Liverpool Preview - Huge derby fixture awaits Klopp's mighty Reds
Venue – Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee – Martin Atkinson
Date & Time – Sunday, March 3rd @ 16:15
Current Odds – Everton 17/4, Draw 16/5, Liverpool 4/7
Everton stopped the rot in Wales on Tuesday night. After three straight defeats, they finally picked up all three points with a solid 3-0 win over a struggling Cardiff City team. Gylfi Sigurdsson, in particular, was in fine form for Everton, pitching in with two goals from his attacking midfield role.
The form book can probably be thrown out ahead of Sunday’s fixture, though. Everton won’t want to let The Reds continue on their way to a potential Premier League title undeterred.
Liverpool bounced back brilliantly against Watford during the week. The Reds demolished Javi Gracia’s men 5-0 at Anfield making it three five-goal winning margins in a row at home to The Hornets.
The defence is still the strongest aspect of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team this season. However, after five goals against Watford maybe we’re going to see more of the relentless high-pressing and furiously-paced attacking we grew so used to watching last season.
Liverpool have still only lost once in the Premier League this season and have now kept four clean sheets in a row in all competitions.
They will need to dig deep at Everton on Sunday as this will be their cup final. The Redmen, however, will still have another eight cup finals of their own to deal with after Goodison Park.
Everton Team News
Marco Silva has no injury worries ahead of Sunday’s derby. Kurt Zouma is also available again after his recent suspension. Zouma will most likely replace veteran centre-half Phil Jagielka in defence.
I think Bernard will return on the left, allowing Silva to move Richarlison into the central attacking role to spearhead The Toffees’ frontline.
Liverpool Team News
Jurgen Klopp is still without Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Roberto Firmino had to sit-out the Watford game after injuring his ankle against Manchester United last weekend. He should return to the fold this Sunday, though.
I expect Naby Keita and Firmino both to start in an otherwise unsurprising first eleven for The Reds.
Everton XI (4-2-3-1) – Pickford; Coleman(c), Keane, Zouma, Digne; Gueye, Gomes; Walcott, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Richarlison
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk(c), Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mané
When they last met
Will we ever forget Divock Origi’s 96th-minute winner at Anfield after Jordan Pickford’s strange bit of ‘goalkeeping’ under his own crossbar? The Reds won that fixture 1-0 in early-December.
The sides played out a dour 0-0 draw at Goodison Park at the end of last season. Liverpool were gearing up for a Champions League semi-final fixture at the time. Klopp started players like Dominic Solanke, Danny Ings, Nathaniel Clyne and Ragnar Klavan against The Toffees that day.
Everton 1 – 2 Liverpool
It won’t be easy but Wednesday night’s 5-0 win against Watford will restore some of Liverpool’s confidence as they look to outlast Manchester City in what is sure to be a memorable title race.
Liverpool to win at Goodison by a single goal.
** Please note – “xGA” in the Form Stats tables symbolises “expected goals against” **
**All xG stats courtesy of Understat.com and FiveThirtyEight.com