Saturday’s Premier League action gets underway at Anfield as Liverpool and Everton go head-to-head in the latest edition of the storied Merseyside derby, with Asian Storm and other sports bookmakers making the hosts comfortable betting favourites in what is expected to be a one-sided affair.
October’s international break offered Jurgen Klopp enough time to rally his troops after the Reds failed to win their last two league matches ahead of the pause.
Following a five-game winning streak, the 19-time Premier League winners first succumbed to a controversial 2-1 defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur before drawing 2-2 at Brighton & Hove Albion last time out.
However, Anfield has been a happy hunting ground for Liverpool, with Klopp’s side winning all five home outings across all competitions this term, notably netting three goals on four occasions.
Another success is well on the cards, considering the Reds have won back-to-back home league games against Everton by an identical 2-0 scoreline since falling to the same final score in February 2021.
Unfortunately for the Toffees, that result remains their only Premier League triumph in Liverpool’s backyard this century (D9, L13), highlighting the size of the task awaiting them this weekend.
Sean Dyche’s men can draw confidence from easing past fellow bottom-half strugglers Bournemouth 3-1 in their final outing before the international break.
But the visitors should approach this highly anticipated contest with cautious optimism as only three points separated them from 18th-placed Burnley going into the two-week hiatus.
Speaking to the club’s website in the build-up, Dyche urged his Everton players to stay focused and calm at Anfield, admitting the noise in front of the Kop can be intimidating.
Despite a minor dip in form, Liverpool commence this round only three points adrift of the leading duo Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur as one of only three sides to boast a 100% record on home turf (W3).
The Reds’ free-scoring form has seen them find the back of the net in their last 18 Premier League outings, with only two sides enjoying a longer scoring streak in the division.
While Klopp cannot complain about his frontline, there’s ample room for improvement at the back, as his men have only registered one shutout across their last ten league matches.
Slow starts have highlighted Liverpool’s early campaign. But despite conceding the opening goal in a league third-high five Premier League games, they’ve been victorious in four of them (D1).
Barring the abovementioned win at Anfield two years ago, Everton have gone winless in 24 of their last 25 Premier League encounters against Liverpool (D13, L11).
However, Dyche’s men have enjoyed a mini-revival ahead of this trip, racking up two wins in their last three top-flight fixtures (L1), as many wins as in their previous 16 in the competition.
They have also mustered four consecutive away games in all competitions without losing (W3, D1), bagging multiple goals on each occasion, which bodes well for their bid to end a two-game scoring drought at this venue.
Excluding other competitions, the Toffees have only won two Premier League matches on hostile turf in 2023, suggesting Liverpool could have a field day despite this fixture’s stature.
Andy Robertson has joined Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago Alcantara in the treatment room after picking up a nasty arm injury while on international duty with Scotland.
Curtis Jones is still serving the second of his three-match suspension following his red card against Tottenham, but Cody Gakpo could make the bench despite facing a minor knee problem.
As for Everton, Dele Alli, Seamus Coleman and Andre Gomes are unavailable for selection due to injuries, while Idrissa Gueye returns to the fold after withdrawing from Dyche’s starting XI against Bournemouth.
Liverpool potential starting line-up:
(4-3-3): Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk, Kostas Tsimikas; Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Ryan Gravenberch; Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez.
Everton potential starting line-up:
(4-4-1-1): Jordan Pickford; Ashley Young, James Tarkowski, Jarrad Branthwaite, Vitaliy Mykolenko; James Garner, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Amadou Onana, Dwight McNeil; Jack Harrison; Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
We Say: Liverpool 3-1 Everton
We expect Liverpool to confirm their long-standing dominance in this match-up, even though Everton have drastically improved in recent weeks.
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