Liverpool host Everton in the 229th Merseyside derby on Sunday afternoon at Anfield, with the Reds in the middle of a superb run of form.
Liverpool vs. Everton
Sunday, December 10, 2017 — 2.15pm (GMT)
Referee: Craig Pawson
Last Meeting: Liverpool 3-1 Everton
This is the Liverpool that we saw destroy teams in early parts of last season, with their attacking football too much for opponents to handle. They have scored three or more goals in eight of their last nine matches.
Everton make the famously short trip to Anfield at a pretty terrible time for them, and on paper it is a derby that should be as one-sided as any in recent memory.
Liverpool’s local rivals may well be a different animal under Sam Allardyce, however, and they have actually won on three of their last five Premier League outings.
We know how the game will pan out tactically before it even kicks off—it will be a case of the Reds trying to break down their well-drilled and inferior opponents—but the hosts have to play well to win.
Everton have not won at Anfield since 1999, and while records are always there to be broken, only a top-drawer performance and plenty of luck will achieve that feat on Sunday.
We have witnessed some joyous home thrashings of Everton in the last five years, including two 4-0 wins and a comprehensive 3-1 victory, and more of the same is quite possible this weekend.
The most important thing is not taking Everton for granted, despite their surprise struggles this season.
Alberto Moreno left the pitch in tears against Spartak, and he will miss a chunk of action with an ankle injury.
Not spotted at Melwood, however, was Coutinho, and it remains to be seen whether the Brazilian is injured or was merely rested a further day.
Simon Mignolet will return in place of Loris Karius, while Klopp will have to decide between Andrew Robertson and James Milner at left-back, with the latter registering three assists there after coming on for Moreno on Wednesday.
Liverpool’s in-form attacking trio of Salah, Mane and Firmino could all start again, but Klopp may feel the need to give one of them a rest.
Allardyce has no new injury worries, although Seamus Coleman, Ramiro Funes Mori, Ross Barkley and Yannick Bolasie all remain sidelined.
Last 5 at Home to Everton
Liverpool 3-1 Everton – April 1, 2017 (Mane, Coutinho, Origi; Pennington)
Liverpool 4-0 Everton – April 20, 2016 (Origi, Sakho, Sturridge, Coutinho)
Liverpool 1-1 Everton – September 27, 2014 (Gerrard; Jagielka)
Liverpool 4-0 Everton – January 28, 2014 (Gerrard, Sturridge x2, Suarez)
Liverpool 0-0 Everton – May 5, 2013
Did You Know?
Everton have not won a derby in their last 14 attempts, with their last victory against Liverpool coming at Goodison Park in November 2010.
That 2-0 win came during the infamous Anfield reign of Roy Hodgson, though, so does it even count?
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Everton – Last five results (all competitions)
In his pre-derby press conference on Friday, Klopp insisted Liverpool cannot take the challenge of Everton lightly:
“We have to start with the first whistle, do the right things in the right moments, I’ve spoken with the boys about that,” he said.
“It’s not allowed to play like we did in the last 20 minutes against Moscow, it would be silly.
“We have to work hard in the best way, be patient like we were patient against Brighton in the first 25 minutes. There’s no easy way through, that’s for sure.”
TV & Live Blog Info
Coverage on Sky Sports Main Event starts at 1.15pm (GMT)—Sky Sports Premier League from 1pm—with kick-off at 2.15pm.
Our matchday live blog will be up and running from 1.30pm, with Ben Twelves in the chair this week.