A return to Premier League action following the October international break will see Liverpool face Everton in the Merseyside Derby. Here is a preview.
The first Merseyside Derby of the season will be on show at Anfield as Liverpool take on Everton for their 243rd official meeting. Given the passion and history involved, this is undoubtedly one of English football’s greatest rivalries.
Regardless of the disparity in fortunes between both clubs over the years, this is usually a fierce encounter. It has seen more red cards given than any other fixture in Premier League history.
Liverpool are in much better form having started their season at their typically brilliant standards and they will be expecting nothing less than maximum points against their neighbours.
Jurgen Klopp’s men opened the new season with a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge but got their first win against Bournemouth a week later.
Newcastle were stunned when 10 men overturned a 1-0 deficit via a Darwin Nunez brace in the final ten minutes of normal time, and Liverpool upheld their winning run with a 3-0 over Aston Villa. Wolves were dispatched 3-1 immediately after the international break and that result was recreated at home to West Ham.
Liverpool beat LASK and Leicester City 3-1 in consecutive midweek cup ties but their most recent league game was a dramatic encounter at Tottenham that saw the Reds have a legitimate opening goal disallowed, have two men sent off and then concede a last-gasp own goal for their first league defeat of the season.
Klopp’s side will visit Brighton leading up to the next international break and the hosting of Everton represents a sensational return to domestic action.
The Merseyside rivals played out a goalless draw at Goodison Park last season with Liverpool winning the return fixture 2-0 in February. Another derby win will be important to Liverpool’s momentum as they look to make a big case in this season’s Premier League title race.
Meanwhile, Everton may have found themselves at the centre of several relegation battles over the last couple of seasons but they will be fired up for this latest encounter.
The Toffees are always up for the derby and although there have been little in the way of upsets in recent times, Sean Dyche’s men are capable of getting a result here.
Everton survived the drop by virtue of a win on the final day of last season and despite the high hopes in Dyche’s first full season, they began the campaign abysmally in a 1-0 defeat to Fulham.
Aston Villa thrashed Everton 4-0 in their second game but it wouldn’t get better in the next match as they lost another home game via a late header from Sasa Kalajdzic. The Blues secured their first point of the season away at Sheffield United and although Arsenal were 1-0 victors on the return from the international break, Everton finally got their maiden win with a 3-1 scoreline at Brentford.
Things were looking up and the Evertonians looked to kick on but Luton Town put a real spanner in the works by extending the Toffees’ winless run at home to four games. They have a chance to register a first home win against Bournemouth which would put them in the right frame of mind to prepare for Liverpool over the October international break.
The Toffees have lost four of their last eight games against Liverpool in all competitions, drawing three, but they defeated the Reds at Anfield during the 2020/21 season when they lost several home games in an empty stadium.
Everton have nothing to lose and all to play for in this game which makes them a very dangerous prospect for the home side.
This game will mark the resumption of the Premier League on Saturday, October 21 at Anfield and it kicks off at 12:30 PM UK time. Tickets are on sale via the Liverpool and Everton websites but being one of the most popular fixtures on the Premier League calendar, tickets are in overwhelming demand for the derby which will be a sell-out.
Both clubs are located less than a mile apart and this Derby has engaged fans in the City of Merseyside for generations because it transcends many families living in the area with a history that dates back more than 125 years. Hence, getting Liverpool vs Everton tickets will be nigh on impossible for non-season ticket holders who may have to search on a ticket resale site.
Cody Gakpo (knee) is Liverpool’s latest injury casualty after he pulled up immediately after scoring against Tottenham. Elsewhere, the likes of Adrian and Thiago Alcantara are doubts and it is yet unclear when the midfielder will return from an injury that has kept him out of action since last season.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has made his return from injury in recent games and he should be fully fit and ready to start the derby as his creativity is key to unlocking the Everton rearguard.
For Everton, Andre Gomes, Seamus Coleman and Dele Alli are the injured players at the time of writing but more updates may be available the closer the match gets.
The biggest change anticipated to Liverpool’s preferred lineup is a replacement for Cody Gakpo who has been impressive this season. This means Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez are expected to start but it is the Portuguese who should get the nod as the tireless Uruguayan is a potential match-winner off the bench.
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Jones, Szoboszlai; Salah, Jota, Diaz
Stand-in captain James Tarkowski would retain his centre-back berth alongside Jarrad Branthwaite for Everton with full-backs Ashley Young and Vitalii Mykolenko completing the back-four. They will need their energetic midfielders to do a lot of pressing and cover gaps in the shape as Liverpool look to get on the attack.
Up front, Dominic Calvert-Lewin has netted three goals in his last three matches and he should spearhead the attack ahead of Beto or Youssef Chermiti.
Everton: Pickford; Young, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko; Garner, Onana, Gueye, McNeil; Doucoure, Calvert-Lewin
Although current form is unnecessary when predicting derby games, Liverpool are at their usual lofty standards this season and it is difficult to see how they won’t get the win against a team that has so far lacked precision in both boxes.
The Reds are capable of scoring a bunch of goals and as their games have shown this season, they are not afraid to concede the first goal in matches.
Liverpool 2-0 Everton