Back to back defeats in Europe has jeopardised Liverpool’s hope of making it to the knockout stages of the Champions League. But they are in blistering form in the Premier League and would be looking to stretch their unbeaten streak to 14 games against Everton, their Merseyside rivals at Anfield, on Sunday evening.
Everton, on the other hand, have showcased massive improvement since Marco Silva’s appointment as the Goodison boss and are now chasing a place in Europe alongside the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’.
The Toffees, however, are winless in the last 18 Premier League trips to Anfield as their last victory came in 1997 against the bitter rivals. Although it would be an uphill task to grab a win, the neighbours should look to snatch a point on the road and hand the Reds a significant blow who have somewhat maintained pace with ruthless Manchester City to challenge for silverware.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury misfortune [Knee] has ruled him out for the season. There are not many injury casualties apart from that. Adam Lallana might be back in contention for this weekend’s derby encounter. Dominic Solanke [Groin] and Divock Origi [Illness] are currently being assessed as they have some minor concerns whereas skipper Jordan Henderson is suspended after receiving a marching order against Watford.
Everton, meanwhile, have a fully fit squad handing Silva adequate options to select his best XI from. James McCarthy, too, has returned to training and enjoyed minutes with the reserves but might not be considered for this contest following a long injury layoff.
Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Georginio Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane; Mohamed Salah.
Jordan Pickford; Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, Lucas Digne; Andre Gomes, Idrissa Gana Gueye; Theo Walcott, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Bernard; Richarlison.
Liverpool, unlike the last term, have not been impressive enough high up the pitch. But they are resilient at the back with just five goals conceded so far in the league, having kept eight clean sheets in 13 outings. Virgil van Dijk will be crucial at the back to maintain discipline, but all eyes will be on Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and particularly Mohamed Salah whose last year’s strike against Everton won the 2018 FIFA Puskas Award.
Gylfi Sigurdsson has been a vital cog for the team as he is not only creating chances but also scoring goals. The Icelandic playmaker has already found the net six times and would be looking to add more to his tally against his current team’s bitter rivals. Richarlison, the club-record recruit, is also in fine form up front and is likely to be deployed in a ‘number 9’ role once again.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-0 Everton
Liverpool failed to defeat the Toffees last year at Anfield and should be expecting a sterner test this term considering their summer splurge. This game is likely to be a close contest, but the Reds might grab a narrow 1-0 win banking on their astounding home form under Jurgen Klopp’s tutelage.