Everton vs Liverpool Preview – A Merseyside derby with a difference

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THE DETAILS

Venue – Goodison Park, Liverpool

Referee – Michael Oliver

Date & Time – Saturday, Oct0ber 17th @ 12:30

Current Odds – Everton 11/4, Draw 16/5, Liverpool 4/5

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This Saturday, it will be 10 years to the day since Everton managed a win against Liverpool in any competition. That was a very different world, however. A world where David Moyes was a god-like figure at Goodison Park and Roy Hodgson was already on borrowed time across Stanley Park. In the 22 encounters since, The Toffees have lost exactly half of those games. Yet, they’ve always made it difficult for Liverpool at Goodison in recent years. With the form they’re currently enjoying under Carlo Ancelotti, Saturday’s game is going to be one hell of a battle.

FORM

Everton Form

Everton are top of the Premier League. Four games in and Carlo Ancelotti’s side has been in absolutely outstanding form, winning all their games so far, including three Carabao Cup fixtures against Salford City, Fleetwood Town and West Ham United.

Everton’s league wins have come at Spurs and Crystal Palace while they’ve beaten West Bromwich Albion and Brighton at home. There has been no shortage of goals for The Toffees, averaging three per game in the league so far. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is in the form of his life, already bagging six goals while new signing James Rodríguez has scored three and laid on two assists as well.

Liverpool Form

Liverpool will be keen to move on from the 7-2 hammering they suffered at Villa Park last time out. The Reds’ defence was cut open at will by Dean Smith’s side and Aston Villa could have scored at least three more on the night.

That was Liverpool’s first league defeat of the season and, contrary to what thousands of knee-jerk supporters would have you believe, it’s not panic stations just yet for Jürgen Klopp’s team.

Liverpool beat Arsenal and Leeds at Anfield this season while winning comfortably away to Chelsea. They are currently fifth in the league, three points adrift of Everton.

TEAM NEWS

Everton Team News

Everton’s injury-list at the moment consists of Cenk Tosun, Jonjoe Kenny, Mason Holgate and Jean-Philippe Gbamin.

Seamus Coleman, Yerry Mina and Allan will all face late fitness tests later in the week.

Carlo Ancelotti has been using an attacking 4-3-3 system for Everton this season and it has worked wonders so far. Expect more of the same on Saturday.

Fabinho will be tasked with snuffing out James Rodríguez as the Colombian playmaker is Everton’s creative hub at the moment.

Liverpool Team News

Liverpool will be without Alisson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kostas Tsimikas and Naby Keïta.

Thankfully, it seems that Thiago, Sadio Mané and Joël Matip may all be available for selection after missing the last couple of weeks.

Adrian is likely to continue in goal for The Reds. Joe Gomez could be taken out of the starting eleven after having an especially difficult game at Aston Villa. Klopp could opt for Matip to partner Virgil van Dijk in central defence this weekend.

In midfield, Jordan Henderson should return to the first eleven with Fabinho and Gini Wijnaldum also starting. Thiago is likely to be on the bench.

Mané will probably come straight back into the team as well, replacing Diogo Jota on the left of the front three.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Everton XI (4-3-3) – Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne; Allan, Doucouré, Gomes; Rodríguez, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison

Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Adrián; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané

WHEN THEY LAST MET

Liverpool drew 0-0 at Everton back in June in the first game back after last season’s COVID-enforced break.

The sides met twice at Anfield in 2019/20, with Liverpool winning both games. Curtis Jones scored the only goal in the FA Cup meeting while The Reds ran riot, winning 5-2, in the Premier League clash. Divock Origi (x2), Xherdan Shaqiri, Sadio Mané and Gini Wijnaldum were on the scoresheet that day for Liverpool. Micheal Keane and Richarlison got Everton’s goals that day.

PREDICTION

EVERTON 2 – 2 LIVERPOOL

It’s hard to be confident after Liverpool’s tough defeat at Aston Villa. Add to that the fantastic form Everton are in at the moment as well as Liverpool’s struggles at Goodison Park in recent years and you’d have to be a brave man to back a Liverpool win. I think The Reds will be much better than they were at Villa Park – how can they not be? – and I think a score-draw is likely on Saturday.

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