As the Premier League gets back underway, fans will brace themselves for an enticing Merseyside derby as Everton host Liverpool at Anfield tomorrow. The Toffees are sitting pretty at the top of the table, having won all four of their league matches so far. A win against their arch-rivals could further lift their confidence as they look to restore their lost glory under Carlo Ancelotti.
Liverpool, on the other hand, are coming on the back of a disastrous 7-2 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa. The Reds are still in the top five, having won three of their four matches. However, a win this weekend could be imperative as Jurgen Klopp looks to retain the Premier League title and more importantly, get an early headstart over the underperforming Manchester City.
A Brief Tactical Preview Of Everton Vs Liverpool
Ancelotti has no reason to shift away from his tried and tested 4-3-3 shape with Allan anchoring the three-man midfield. The Toffees have had a lot of success in terms of their second line of press, but it will be interesting to see how they compete with Liverpool’s high press. We might see defenders operating deeper than usual, with an added emphasis on long balls from the back.
Liverpool, meanwhile, could employ a similar 4-3-3 shape, with Klopp once again opting for a high press. The defenders must be careful, however, given Everton’s counter-attacking prowess, especially with striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin being in the form of his life.
Ancelotti has confirmed that he expects Seamus Coleman to be fit before Saturday’s clash with Liverpool. He is also likely to have Allan and Andre Gomes fit, though the Italian tactician will continue to miss out on the services of Mason Holgate, Jonjoe Kenny and Jean-Philippe Gbamin. Yerry Mina’s fitness will be assessed prior to the game.
Probable Lineup: Pickford; Coleman, Godfrey, Keane, Digne; Doucoure, Allan, Gomes; Rodriguez, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.
Klopp is missing out on Alisson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain heading into this game while Naby Keita is also missing the derby after being diagnosed with Covid-19 during the international break. On the bright side, however, both Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara are back from their self-isolation period after contracting Covid-19. Both could potentially start this weekend, though Diogo Jota is also pushing for a place in the starting lineup.
Probable Lineup: Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Despite the in-form Calvert-Lewin, it is James Rodriguez who could play a major role for Everton in this highly-anticipated derby on Saturday. The Colombian has the talent, as well as the technique to cause problems for a Liverpool defence that has lacked solidity in recent weeks.
That is why Liverpool will be banking on the services of Virgil van Dijk to marshal the backline competently this weekend. Following a 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa, Klopp’s primary objective in this fixture will be to avoid conceding goals, and that is where the Dutchman’s experience and leadership could be critical.