High-flying Liverpool have registered successive 4-0 league wins against Arsenal and Southampton ahead of locking horns with bitter rivals Everton. Although the Toffees are undergoing a dreadful run over the past couple of months, the Merseyside derby on Wednesday night is likely to gain a lot of attention, particularly after last season’s fierce fight at Goodison Park.
The Reds’ only defeat of the season on the road took place when they got outplayed by West Ham United prior to the international break. Jurgen Klopp’s juggernaut would encounter another tricky away test in the neighbourhood and the Toffees, too, must shake off the jitters to entertain the Goodison faithful. It’s a battle of prestige for Rafael Benitez, the ex-Liverpool chief who succeeded Carlo Ancelotti as the new Everton boss back in summer.
Everton Vs Liverpool Tactical Preview
The Spaniard has mostly opted for a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-1-1 in recent weeks amid the injury absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Richarlison has been irregular due to fitness and disciplinary issues, however, his return should see a change of strategy with more passing and free-flowing football. The Brazilian must lead the line as his flexibility upfront would add variation in the attacking third.
Liverpool would continue with a 4-3-3 formation similar to previous outings. The long balls out from the back would be effective, whereas the pressing game of Diogo Jota as a ‘False 9′ might make the difference once again. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane should add more goals to their tally, also the presence of Fabinho deep down the midfield is a massive boost in terms of breaking down opponents’ moves and orchestrating the show from a central role.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is still recovering from a thigh strain along with Yerry Mina and Tom Davies who are sidelined as well with their respective thigh and knee injuries. Andre Gomes is back in training, but the home side will be without Mason Holgate due to his suspension following a marching order against Tottenham Hotspur.
Everton Predicted XI
Jordan Pickford; Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey, Lucas Digne; Abdoulaye Doucouré, Allan; Demarai Gray, Andros Townsend, Alex Iwobi; Richarlison.
Roberto Firmino and Naby Keita, ruled out with hamstring strains, will return to team training next week. Joe Gomez, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott remain the other absentees who are still nursing their respective calf, face and ankle injuries respectively.
Liverpool Predicted XI
Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara; Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane.
Demarai Gray has been a revelation so far high up the pitch and the experience of Andros Townsend might leave an impact down the wing. Richarlison was on target at Anfield earlier this year and the Selecao star would aim for another stellar show while spearheading the attack.
Virgil van Dijk ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament last season during the Goodison tie. But the Dutchman is back to his very best so far this term as his resolute defending might frustrate the hosts in the midweek fixture. The front three of Salah, Jota and Mane are on fire and the depleted backline of Everton might struggle to prevent the Liverpool attackers from finding the net.