The Merseyside Derby is upon us once again, in a historical local battle between the blue and red of Liverpool.
Liverpool are fighting for the ultimate prize, whereas Everton are battling for survival. In such circumstances, a home win would look extremely likely, but there could well be a twist given the Toffee’s desperate bid for safety.
Everton recorded a handy point against Leicester in the week, and would probably take a similar result if offered this Sunday. With a fairly long list of injuries, the away side will still be without Nathan Patterson, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Donny van de Beek, Andre Gomes, Tom Davies, and Andros Townsend.
Sitting just one point above the relegation places, they appear in a straight fight with Burnley to remain in the Premier League. Every point is now vital, but surely an early low block will have to be incorporated by Frank Lampard, if the free scoring reds are to be kept at bay. The team should be pretty much that which drew at home to Leicester, with Delli Ali still on the outside looking in. Richarlison will be the key attacking weapon for the blues, with a counter attack their likely best route to goal.
Jurgen Klopp has a full squad, leading into yet another another critical week of games. With rotation being implemented at every possible turn, it has become almost impossible to predict a starting line up. Much of the back four will be hoping to start, however with Villarreal heading to Liverpool in the week, it could mean that Joe Gomez and Kostas Tsimikas could be viable starters. Ibrahima Konate will also be looking to start one the next two games, with only Virgil starting both.
The midfield may well see Jordan Henderson holding, with Fabinho rested. Naby Keita will likely start on one side, with the other controller, Thiago, held back. Curtis Jones could come into contention, with other starters likely to be back for midweek. The attack is again a subject for the unknown, with Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino likely to start. The third spot would inevitably be for Mo Salah, with the Egyptian an ever present.
In a season of contrasting fortunes, it could be a very one sided contest. If Everton choose to sit in, it may cause a situation they cannot handle. Everton need to be positive, and look to work this reds side from the off. With probable rotation for the reds, Frank needs to be assertive and take the initiative early. The reds just need to click into third gear, and they will have enough to overcome everything except complacency.
In a game so important for both, it should see the form followed by a win for Liverpool. With a vast array of talent and means of scoring, it is highly unlikely that the visitors will be able to hold out for too long.
Player to watch – Diogo Jota
Liverpool 5 – 0 Everton