|Everton will have to stay disciplined to earn anything from the latest installment of the Merseyside Derby at Anfield on Saturday. (Photo credit: Sporting News)|
Liverpool vs. Everton
It’s another Merseyside derby and another opportunity for Everton to do the seemingly impossible considering how the Kops have dominated this fixture in the recent past.
Everton is struggling again, but strangely, they’re underperforming their xG. Data shows the Toffees should be fifth on the log if they’d taken their chances, and you wonder how many of those they will take at Anfield on Saturday.
It’s a lunchtime kickoff game, and Liverpool will hope their South American contingent returns in shape for this fixture after playing into the early hours of Wednesday with so many minutes in their legs and hours of long flight.
Liverpool went from five league wins on the bounce to two league games without a win, but they can take solace in the fact that they’re only three points off the top of the log and could actually go top, at least until Tottenham and Arsenal play.
Liverpool will be without Andy Robertson, who was stretchered off during the international break, but they do have an able substitute in Tsimikas, who got enough minutes for Greece over two games during the break.
Dominic Calvert Lewin will lead the line for the visitors, and he’ll be looking for more luck with injury than anything else. James Garner has been a revelation this season since the departure of Alex Iwobi, and Jack Harrison is finding his feet as well.
Cody Gakpo is still unavailable, but Diogo Jota is back from suspension. Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz are the players that need late assessment due to their late return from the break, but whatever happens, one of them will start on the bench, with Jota a lot fresher and Mohammed Salah a sure starter.
Everton has to be disciplined in their tackling and defensive shape. Liverpool will have a rude go at them, and it’s up to Sean Dyches to have a good plan to stifle supplies to the forwards. If they pay attention to details and chase every second ball, they can frustrate Jurgen Klopp and his players.
Liverpool knows a win will take them to the top of the summit, albeit temporarily, but they can’t take things for granted. It’s a derby, and on days like this, form and history fly out the window. Both sides must show they want it more.