Liverpool turn their attention to domestic cup action, with Everton the visitors in the third round of the FA Cup.
Liverpool vs. Everton
Sunday, January 5, 2020 – 4.01pm (GMT)
FA Cup Third Round
Referee: Jonathan Moss
A change of pace awaits Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, with FA Cup action on the cards for the first time this season with Everton the visitors.
Liverpool head into the affair full of confidence and momentum having won their previous 10 games across all competitions, excluding the League Cup tie over Aston Villa, a run of form which sees the Reds hold a 13 point lead atop of the Premier League table.
A change in competition is set to see a change in personnel, however, with Klopp set to turn to a number of fringe and younger players after a demanding festive schedule and a host of injuries to key players.
And while vast changes are expected, any meeting with the Toffees is a must-win and the Anfield faithful will be eager to see more misery piled on the Blues on Sunday.
Carlo Ancelotti is now at the helm for Everton and has overseen two wins from his opening three games, where the old rivals are expected to field their strongest possible side.
Under Klopp, Liverpool have progressed beyond the third round of the competition three times, but have never made it beyond the fourth round – and regardless of personnel, you would not put it beyond the Reds to change that this season.
Moreover, it is important to note that VAR will be in operation for the meeting while kick-off is scheduled for a minute later than usual as part of the FA’s ‘Heads Up’ campaign to encourage fans to take a minute to think about their mental health.
After a relentless festive fixture schedule, Klopp is set to take the opportunity to ring in the changes as he looks to give regular members of his first-team a timely rest.
Speaking ahead of the game, the boss insisted he would not be making decisions on the emotion of the tie rather what is “sensible” for his team “because of the situation and not because of the opponent.”
The Reds remain with a plethora of injuries to key players, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Xherdan Shaqiri, Naby Keita and Fabinho all sidelined.
The latter has started running after over six weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury, while the final prognosis on Keita’s groin injury sustained in the warm-up ahead of the win over Sheffield United is yet to be determined.
There is, however, set to be a debut for Liverpool’s newest addition in Takumi Minamino, with the Japan international now cleared for action after missing out against the Blades.
He is set to be joined by the likes of Adrian, Adam Lallana, James Milner and Divock Origi as the senior faces in the side, while Harvey Elliott, Rhian Brewster, Curtis Jones, Neco Williams and Nathaniel Phillips are all set to feature.
A decision will need to be made over whether any of the two fit senior centre-backs in Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk are risked, while the trident of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are expected to only feature from the bench – if at all.
The visitors, meanwhile, will remain without Alex Iwobi while Ancelotti will be forced to wait and see if the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Yerry Mina and Fabian Delph will pass as fit for the clash.
Last 5 at home to Everton (All Competitions)
Won 5-2 – December 2019 (Origi x2, Shaqiri, Mane, Wijnaldum; Keane, Richarlison)
Won 1-0 – December 2018 (Origi)
Won 2-1 – January 2018 (Milner, Van Dijk; Sigurdsson)
Drew 1-1 – December 2017 (Salah; Rooney)
Won 3-1 – April 2017 (Mane, Coutinho, Origi; Pennington)
Did You Know?
This fixture is the most played match in the history of the FA Cup, with Liverpool and Everton having met in the competition on 24 occasions.
The Reds have won 11 of those meetings and have lost seven, where Everton‘s last five outings away at Liverpool in the FA Cup have resulted in four draws – with the lastest match won 2-1 by Klopp’s side in January 2018.
And Liverpool are set to have a good omen on their side, with Origi set to feature once more where he will look to inflict further misery on the Blues having scored in all four home games against the visitors in recent times.
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 2-0 vs. Sheffield United
Won 1-0 vs. Wolves
Won 4-0 vs. Leicester
Won 1-0 vs. Flamengo
Won 2-1 vs. Monterrey
Everton – Last five results (all competitions)
Lost 2-1 vs. Man City
Won 2-1 vs. Newcastle
Won 1-0 vs. Burnley
Drew 0-0 vs. Arsenal
Drew 2-2 vs. Leicester
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the boss vented his frustration at the pile up of fixtures which could increase should either Liverpool or Everton fail to emerge as victors:
“A journalist told me yesterday, ‘oh, the end of the festive period, what do you make of it?’…which festive period is over?
“We play in three days, four days later, five days later again—what is over, really? Whatever happens tomorrow, you can win or draw, unfortunately, and lose.
“People told me a couple of times I wouldn’t respect the competition. It’s not true, but everybody is allowed to have their own opinion.
“My first job is to respect the players, my absolute No. 1 job.
“I see them every day and I have to make a decision whether it’s allowed to bring them in again or not. That’s it.”
TV & Liveblog Info
Liverpool’s FA Cup meeting with Everton will be shown live on BBC One from 3.30pm (GMT), with kickoff set for 4.01pm.
Henry Jackson will be at the helm on This Is Anfield’s matchday liveblog, keeping you entertained and in the know with updates on all the action, starting from 3.15pm.