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Everton fans cautious as new defence meets “one of the most lethal attacks”

There is confidence from Everton fans that they will get a result at home to Liverpool this weekend, with the midfield battle key amid another injury for the Reds.

The Reds picked up a vital 2-1 win against Newcastle on Wednesday night, thanks to Fabio Carvalho‘s last-gasp strike, while the Toffees remain winless in the league after a midweek draw at Leeds.

Attention now turns to Saturday’s trip to Goodison Park, as Merseyside’s two biggest clubs lock horns in a crucial derby clash.

Ahead of the game, we spoke to The Blue Room podcast’s Dave Downie (@daviddownie17) to get the lowdown on the Blues, his thoughts on Liverpool and the key battles this weekend.

 

How would you assess Everton’s start to the season?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 20, 2022: Everton's Anthony Gordon during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Nottingham Forest FC at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Severely undercooked and very concerning.

At the time of writing, there are still major areas in the squad that need addressing, which is quite embarrassing in reference to how the club has been so slow in reacting to in regards recruitment for several months.

The players we’ve brought in look pretty good and director of football Kevin Thelwell seems to be effective when given the chance to assess the window.

But the fact we look so lightweight in the forward area, even after signing Neal Maupay and awaiting Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s return to fitness, is very worrying.

 

Is Lampard still the man for the job?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 20, 2022: Everton's manager Frank Lampard during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Nottingham Forest FC at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I think he is, or he at least deserves to be given that chance. At least a full season and a couple of windows are needed to even consider looking for a replacement.

Even then, it would be incredibly unfair to part ways with him due to the uphill battle he’s faced.

He has brought the best or better out of a few individuals, namely Alex Iwobi, who has been our best player by quite some distance since Frank Lampard arrived at Goodison.

 

Do you expect a genuine relegation fight or a mid-table push?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 20, 2022: Everton's goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Nottingham Forest FC at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

At the time of writing this – a few hours before the summer window closes – I think we’ll be looking over our shoulders.

The squad is better, yes, but we desperately need some firepower as soon as possible.

 

As for Liverpool, what do you think has gone wrong so far this season?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, August 31, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah looks dejected as Newcastle United score the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A couple of things, but I don’t think there are major issues. Injuries are the main problem.

I also think it’s going to take a while for Darwin Nunez to establish himself as a proper number nine for the Reds.

To be fair, those who were in that squad before his arrival, and Sadio Mane’s departure, are going to be working hard to adapt to a new system with a big man at the top of the attack.

It’s no coincidence that the mauling of Bournemouth happened whilst fielding a conventional attacking system.

 

Where do you think they will finish?

Fabio Carvalho of Liverpool celebrates scoring the winning goal during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture credit should read: Darren Staples / Sportimage

Given this start and what a certain Erling Haaland has frighteningly shown us in the early weeks of the campaign, I think it’s going to be second again.

 

Looking ahead to Saturday, what’s your favourite memory of Goodison derbies?

Liverpool, England - Saturday, February 3, 2007: Liverpool's Jamie Carragher and Everton's Andy Johnson during the Merseyside Derby Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Favourite Goodison memories, whilst far too few, are the 3-0 victory over the Reds in 2006 when Andy Johnson slotted a brace.

Just edging that as my favourite was Lee Carsley’s quite bizarre strike from outside the box which catapulted us up the table to a fourth-place finish in 2005.

 

Where do you see the key battles taking place?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 20, 2022: Everton's Conor Coady during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Nottingham Forest FC at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

We have a new looking back four or five against one of the most lethal attacks in the sport. That needs to be addressed for us to have any chance.

Our latest game, which we drew 1-1 at Leeds, looked impressive, with Conor Coady and James Tarkowski as the preferred centre-backs.

We also have a midfield that is physically bigger and better with Amadou Onana and Iwobi taking on whoever Klopp finds to make fit enough for Saturday.

 

Which Liverpool player would you most like to see in a Blues shirt?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's Luis Díaz celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 9-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Luis Diaz. Bags of pace and trickery which would compliment Anthony Gordon on the opposite side for us.

 

Finally, what’s your prediction?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 24, 2022: Liverpool's Joel Matip and Everton's goalkeeper Jordan Pickford clash during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 240th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by Lindsey Parneby/Propaganda)

Everton 2-2 Liverpool.

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