On Monday night Everton play host to city rivals Liverpool in the 227th Merseyside derby. The game will be Jurgen Klopp’s first visit to Goodison Park in what is expected to be a typically fiery encounter. Everton haven’t won against Liverpool since October 2010. So their is a lot at stake for both Klopp’s and Koeman’s reputations.
Liverpool need to win in order to close the no massive gap on Chelsea who won again this weekend.
- Coutinho still out injured
- Sturridge late fitness test
- Injury doubt with Origi
- Danny Ings (knee)
- Marko Grujic (tendon)
- Joel Matip possibly out again (ankle)
- Lallana back to full fitness after his superb brace against Middlesbrough
Liverpool will hope that Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan can build upon their rare clean sheet, obtained against Middlesbrough. They both have a massive task of keeping Lukaku – Everton’s best chance of winning.
Should Lukaku find his form, he may just prove to be the match-winner in an overdue Merseyside derby triumph for the Toffees. Having scored all of his goals against Liverpool at Goodison he would fancy his chances of adding to that tally against the second-worst backline in the top 10 of the Premier League.
Mignolet returned to the starting line-up for the Premier League win over Middlesbrough on Wednesday night, recording a much needed clean sheet at the Riverside Stadium. And Jürgen Klopp confirmed at his pre-Everton press conference that Mignolet is set to retain the spot for this game. “I don’t want to change each week – that was not the plan,” Klopp said. “Simon had a really good game [against Middlesbrough] so he will be in goal, for sure.”
Captain’s performance is needed
The Merseyside Derby is always a hotly contested game. With so many eventful games throughout it’s history. Whilst new rivalries are created within the realms of modern football the Merseyside Derby has to be considered no.1 throughout European football.
And I’m expecting the battle to be won or lost in the middle of the park. Jordan Henderson will again need to be on top form as he’s going to be coming uo against midfield enforcers Idrissa Gana Gueye. He will have to win this battle for us to stand a chance of winning the game.
Henderson has hauled himself to the top of just about every stat chart that matters in the Premier League. First it was completing more passes than anyone else in the league. Then, it was announced that he had also covered more blades of grass than a groundsman with a caffeine addiction. Now he is also the king of tackles, completing more than anyone else in the Premier League.
Liverpool’s number 14 has had some big shoes to fill since the departure of fairly popular player called Steven in 2014.
While Henderson might never be the most glamorous of footballers, he is going some distance (literally) to becoming a Kop legend in his own right.
Predicting the starting line-up
With that in mind I would expect Henderson to be in a midfield 3, alongside Can and Wijnaldum. Emre Can to add a bit of brute force and muscle with Wijnaldum to link up the midfield with his slick interchanging passes.
This would mean that Lallana would play further forward in an expected front 3 alongside Firmino and Mané.
Everton will be without captain Phil Jagielka due to his sending off during their 2-1 win against Arsenal on Tuesday.
Predicted Liverpool Starting Lineup: Mignolet; Clyne, Klavan, Lovren, Milner; Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Mane, Firmino, Lallana.
Both teams re-motivated
Everton will have been buoyed by their superb 2-1 victory over Arsenal on Tuesday, and will look to utilise that momentum when Liverpool travel across Stanley Park.
Liverpool got their title challenge back on track with their own win over Middlesbrough 24 hours later, so both sides will head into this fixture with thoughts on picking up all three points.
What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment.
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