Merseyside Derby Clash
With the most recent international break now at a thankful end, an inevitable 12.30 kick-off on Saturday lunchtime awaits the battle of Merseyside, as Everton make the trip across Stanley Park for their away day at Anfield. Game week nine represents nearly a quarter of the season, one which currently sees the usual trend of Liverpool towards the top of the Premier League, whilst the latter Toffees scramble around within bottom half mediocrity. This is a Derby and often a fierce encounter, which means any result may unfold, regardless of form and league placing.
The Everton Availability
In terms of availability, Dele Alli, Seamus Coleman, Jack Harrison, and Andre Gomes, all face late fitness tests to be considered for Sean Dyche’s match day squad. With regards to current form, the Premier League’s 16th placed team are looking solid right now. Their last outing had them beat Bournemouth 3-0 at Goodison Park, after a surprise 1-2 loss at home to Luton. The game prior to that defeat had the Blues advancing in the EFL Cup, after an impressive 1-2 away win against Aston Villa. That cup win came days after another brilliant win, as a victorious away day saw them dismantle Brentford, in an unexpected 1-3 win. With seven points taken from eight games played, it is not the best start for the former Burnley boss now at Everton, however, a place just outside of the relegation places is very much an accomplishment for a club that requires a large rebuild.
Liverpool v Everton & Man City v Liverpool will be the 21st and 22nd Premier League Saturday lunchtime kick-offs immediately after an international break since 2017-18.
— Michael Reid (@michael_reid11) October 13, 2023
A predicted line up is listed below.
GK – Jordan Pickford RB – Ashley Young LB – Vitaliy Mykolenko RCB – James Tarkowski LCB – Jarrad Branthwaite RM – Jack Harrison CM – James Garner CDM – Amadou Onana LM – Dwight McNeil ACM – Abdoulaye Doucouré CF – Dominic Calvert-Lewin
The Liverpool Availability
The 4th placed reds host their neighbours, after a strange couple of Premier League games. The Reds’ last game saw a 2-2 draw ensue, with a frustrating match away to Brighton. The weekend prior saw the reds suffer their first loss of the season, as their trip to White Hart Lane (to face Tottenham), had them suffer a heartbreaking 1-2 loss within the biggest VAR debacle since the technology was introduced. A couple of routine Europa League group stage ties were won prior to each of those league games, after back-to-back 3-1 victories against West Ham and Leicester. The win against the Foxes saw them progress in the EFL Cup.
In terms of availability, Jürgen Klopp will be without Andy Robertson, who sustained a suspected dislocated shoulder whilst representing Scotland last weekend. Cody Gakpo and Stefan Bajčetić remain short-term doubts, whereas Thiago Alcântara could make the matchday squad.
Below is a predicted line up.
GK – Alisson Becker RB – Trent Alexander Arnold RCB – Ibrahima Konaté LCB – Virgil van Dijk LB – Joe Gomez RCM – Dominik Szoboszlai CDM – Alexis Mac Allister LCM – Ryan Gravenberch RF – Mohamed Salah CF – Darwin Núñez LF – Luis Díaz
Though many supporters may prefer Kostas Tsimikas as the starting left-back, the fact that Joe Gomez has spent the entirety of the international break at the Axa Training Centre may well play in the England defender’s favour. The second week of training could have been spent perfecting the intricacies of the role, which would suit our immediate needs. With a history of playing left back in his early days at Anfield, that notion coupled with the on-ball back-three endeavours could see his manager opt for more defensive stability for this game.
How Will This Contest Play Out
This could be a long day at the office for Klopp’s men, as Sean Dyche will unveil a frustrating and dogmatic approach with his tactics. The two lines of four and a ‘one up, one off’ system, will restrict space for the home side to create swift and precise patterns of play. A very one-sided possession game must see Liverpool target the likes of Ashley Young, with movement and quick passing around the penalty box. Liverpool, despite their last two results, are in the ascendancy and Everton may see their good run end abruptly here. The overwhelming attacking threat posed by the red side of Liverpool should prove too much in a convincing home win.
— AnfieldIndex (@AnfieldIndex) October 18, 2023
Player to Watch: Darwin Núñez
Score Prediction: Liverpool 3 – 1 Everton