The 242nd Merseyside derby awaits and without a win in the Premier League in 2023, Liverpool have to respond under the lights at Anfield.
Liverpool vs. Everton
Premier League (21) | Anfield
February 13, 2023 | 8pm (GMT)
Another abject performance and another three goals shipped on the road last time out for Liverpool, a wholly unacceptable situation that has to force a turn in the tide.
On Monday, it will have been 45 days since the Reds last delivered victory at Anfield and the derby is the perfect opportunity to restart the count.
Here are 10 things you need to know ahead of the Monday night clash.
1. Jota ‘in contention’, but no Thiago?
There’s good news and there’s bad news, a combination we’re getting used to!
The good news is that Diogo Jota is “in contention” to be named in the matchday squad on Monday after nearly four months on the sidelines, having “trained normally for two days.”
The bad news is Thiago has a hip flexor issue which has left him unable to train and consequently in doubt for the derby. He’s made 10 successive starts.
2. Rock bottom
If we take only the last four league games into account, Liverpool sit at the bottom of the Premier League table with just a solitary point to their name.
In that time, they’ve scored one goal and conceded nine – the most of any side in the division – the stark reality of the woes Liverpool are currently experiencing.
In the bigger picture, Liverpool (10th) and Everton (18th) are currently separated by 11 points and eight places in the table.
3. Striker ‘touch and go’ for Toffees
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is in doubt with a hamstring injury that forced him to be withdrawn after the hour mark during Everton‘s win over the Gunners.
The striker has not trained throughout the week and Sean Dyche confirmed it “will be touch and go at best” for him to feature.
Everton have welcomed back defender Ben Godfrey, while Michael Keane, Nathan Patterson, Andros Townsend and James Garner all remain sidelined.
Possible Everton XI: Pickford; Coleman, Coady, Tarowski, Mykolenko; Gueye, Doucoure, Onana; McNeil, Iwobi, Maupay
4. Time for Phillips?
With a nine-day gap between games there is not any added pressure for Klopp to change his side beyond an enforced absence for Thiago, should he not prove his fitness in time.
Predicted Reds XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Phillips, Robertson; Bajcetic, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Gakpo, Nunez
5. Beware of Dychball
In an attempt to shore things up, Liverpool have, literally, left themselves short and that is now being exposed with set pieces being a weak point. pic.twitter.com/WDgZbYemAM
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) February 9, 2023
Dyche’s Burnley side were known to take advantage of set-pieces and long balls, which will be of concern to Liverpool and Klopp having become increasingly vulnerable in defending the dead ball.
An inability to clear their lines, win the first ball, track runners at the back post and deny shots from close range has seen the Reds turn back the clock to the issues that were present when Klopp first arrived.
There’s a nervous energy again now and an obvious vulnerability that Dyche will not be afraid to exploit. The Reds have to play smart to avoid putting themselves in danger.
6. Who doesn’t love a 90+’ goal!
The Belgian loved a late goal against Everton, or just in general with six in 10 outings. Sadio Mane too gave us a late gift to celebrate at Goodison Park, but will we need to wait until the death this time around?
It’s euphoric when it happens but in Liverpool’s current form, is a straightforward win too much to ask for?
7. Klopp ‘didn’t want to see players for 2 days’
“You cannot train every day. We played bad at Wolves, the next day we came in and did the analysis, we spoke to each other, and then we gave them two days off because it’s a very long time between Saturday and Monday.
“But of course, I could have said ‘Sunday training, recovery or whatever, and then from Monday on we go for them’.
“That wouldn’t have been helpful at all. It would have been bad, it would have caused injuries, it would have caused a lot of problems.
“And to be honest, on Sunday, after we spoke about everything, I thought 100 percent that it makes sense if we don’t see each other for two days, and it was helpful.
“I left on Sunday in an average mood, and came back and I was in a good mood.”
Whatever it takes to turn it around!
8. A night under the Anfield lights
It’s a long wait over to see the Reds in action over this match week, but as Klopp’s men have started to perfect the art of ruining our weekends perhaps that’s not so bad!
This is the fifth Monday night game of the season, the third at 8pm (GMT), and only one of the previous four have ended in a Liverpool victory.
That was at Aston Villa at the earlier start of 5.30pm, both Brentford and Man United, meanwhile, have dished out the Monday blues, meaning just four points have been taken from a possible Monday pot of 12.
Here’s to starting the new week on the right note. Please, Liverpool.
9. Who are the officials?
Simon Hooper is the referee for the derby and takes charge of a Liverpool match for the fourth time in his career – the last being the 3-1 home win over Southampton last November.
He dishes out, on average, 3.06 yellow cards per game this season and has awarded just one penalty in his 16 games in 2022/23.
John Brooks, meanwhile, will oversee VAR.
10. How to follow the derby!
If you’re looking for unapologetically biased commentary, then This Is Anfield’s matchday live blog is just the place, with Henry Jackson to keep you entertained from 7.15pm.
Please just win, Reds.