Liverpool v Everton – Preview

Liverpool v Everton – Preview

It’s the Merseyside derby on Saturday as Liverpool host Everton at Anfield, the two sides currently sixth and seventh in the table, respectively.

Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s crucial clash:

Form

Liverpool – WLLLW

Liverpool got back to winning ways in midweek, putting one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals, courtesy of their first-leg ‘away’ win against RB Leipzig in the last-16/

That entertaining encounter in Budapest saw the Reds ruthlessly capitalise on two errors from the German side, with both Mo Salah and Sadio Mane finding the net early in the second-half, while ‘keeper Alisson had made a vital save just after half-time from Christopher Nkunku.

In truth, it’s not been the best few weeks for the Brazilian international, with his high profile errors against Manchester City compounded by another rash moment in the loss to Leicester City at the weekend, the former Roma man charging out of his box only to collide with defender Ozan Kabak, allowing Jamie Vardy in to score.

That chastening defeat made it three successive losses in the Premier League for the champions, leaving them in sixth and 16 points behind leaders City, with a real fight on their hands to secure a top four spot.

While it’s been a dismal title defence, they have had to contend with a multitude of injuries, the club remaining without first-choice centre-back pair Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

Defender Joel Matip is also expected to miss the rest of the season, while the likes of Naby Keita, James Milner and Fabinho are also on the treatment table. Summer signing Diogo Jota is nearing a return, however.

Everton – WDWLL

After their brilliant second-half comeback against Manchester United and their thrilling 5-4 FA Cup win over Tottenham, the Toffees have since lost back-to-back Premier League games.

Both losses came at Goodison Park, the first a limp display against a lively Fulham side, while the second saw a rampant Manchester City side continue their sensational run of form with a 3-1 win.

That latest defeat saw Carlo Ancelotti’s men overpowered by comfortably the better side, although they had drawn themselves level midway through the first-half and had to contend with seeing Yerry Mina limp off early on.

That result has left Everton in seventh and five points behind Chelsea in fourth, albeit with a game in hand on all the sides above them and still in with a shout of claiming an unlikely Champions League place.

As for team news, striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is likely to start after missing Wednesday night’s defeat, while summer signing Allan could make his long-awaited return after having been absent since the 2-0 win over Leicester back in December, though Yerry Mina is out.

Last Meeting

Everton 2-2 Liverpool, 17 October 2020

In true Merseyside derby fashion, the reverse fixture saw an action-packed 90 minutes of football, with a red card, injuries and some questionable VAR decisions making it one of the games of the season.

The visitors took an early lead through Sadio Mane, before Michael Keane headed home to bring the hosts level inside 20 minutes.

Then came the moment that arguably derailed Liverpool’s entire season, as Jordan Pickford collided with an offside Virgil Van Dijk inside the box, the Dutchman forced off with an injury that looks to have ended his campaign, while the England number one somehow escaped punishment.

Embed from Getty Images

The Reds then retook the lead on 72 minutes through Mo Salah’s close range effort, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin then firing a header past Adrian to once again draw the Toffees level again.

The drama wasn’t done there though as Carlo Ancelotti’s side finished the game with 10 men, Richarlison correctly sent-off for a thunderous challenge on Thiago, while the third minute of stoppage time saw Liverpool grab what looked like a winner through Jordan Henderson, only for VAR to judge that teammate Mane was offside in the build-up in what was an extremely tight and controversial decision.

Predicted Lineups

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Henderson, Robertson; Thiago, Jones, Wijnaldum; Mane, Firmino, Salah.

Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Godfrey, Keane, Holgate, Digne; Doucoure, Allan, Sigurdsson; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.

Who is the referee?

Chris Kavanagh

What channel is it on?

UK and Irish readers can watch the match on Sky Sports.

What time is kick off?

Saturday 20 February, 17:30 GMT

Odds

Liverpool – 4/9

Draw – 7/2

Everton – 6/1

Please, can we not spend the next decade pitting Mbappé and Haaland against each other?

See also – The five players to score 20 European goals for Liverpool

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