10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Everton – 242nd Merseyside derby

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.

In other news, Roberto Firmino and Arthur are close to being involved, as for Virgil van Dijk, Klopp doesn’t “think he’s that close” to a comeback.

Ibrahima Konate and Luis Diaz, meanwhile, remain sidelined.


2. Rock bottom

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 4, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker looks dejected as Wolverhampton Wanderers score the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.

Everton are not fairing considerably better but their win over Arsenal last week pushed them to 16th in the current form table, as their relegation scrap continues.

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

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 31, 2022: Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin lines-up before the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Everton FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 15, 2022: Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.

But Joe Gomez has been nowhere near his best, though he’s far from the exception, and Nat Phillips could be turned to alongside Joel Matip should the manager seek to make a change in defence.

Jordan Henderson, similarly, could return to the XI after starting from the bench in the last three games, lining up alongside Stefan Bajcetic and Naby Keita.

The forward line needs to find goals and while Jota could prove an option off the bench, Mo Salah, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo look to, again, be the trio to lead the line.

Predicted Reds XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Phillips, Robertson; Bajcetic, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Gakpo, Nunez


5. Beware of Dychball

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!

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 4, 2019: Liverpools Divock Origi scores the third goal past Everton's goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 234th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have scored five stoppage-time winners against Everton in the Premier League era, and, perhaps there is one name your mind immediately turns to.

Divock Origi.

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’

After the defeat at Wolves, Klopp made the decision to give the players two days off on Monday and Tuesday, a move he felt was necessary after a fresh look in the mirror:

“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

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 29, 2022: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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?

SHREWSBURY, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 26, 2020: Referee Simon Hooper during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Shrewsbury Town FC and Liverpool FC at the New Meadow. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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!

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 28, 2022: A general view before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Leicester at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Everton is live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League for those of you in the UK, coverage starts at 7pm (GMT) ahead of the 8pm kick-off.

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.