Match Preview: Liverpool vs Everton

It’s FA Cup time once again and the “luck of the draw” has given us another Merseyside Derby to sink our teeth into, and if last months 1-1 draw at Anfield is anything to go by, this is going to be a slow and drab affair with Sam Allardyce bringing his bus and his Range Rover to park in front of Jordan Pickford. Despite this, Liverpool have been on a lovely run of form lately, with the Reds remaining undefeated in 16 games after the 2-1 away win against Burnley. That being said, “form goes out the window for cup games.” FA Cup third round? Into these. 




TIME: 19:55PM


Team News


Philippe Coutinho is out of this one, with what is either a legitimate, highly convenient injury or a fake one yet again as he tries to worm his way out of Liverpool and onto the sunny beaches of Catalonia. I tend to favour the latter. I feel like this is Coutinho showing his true colours which is just awful.

Mo Salah is also out of the derby, however, Klopp reiterated two or three times during his pre-match presser that it is only a small injury for the Egyptian.

Elsewhere, Loris Karius will start in goal, with Danny Ward on the bench, leaving many to question why he the Welshman was kept at the club at all this season. Apparently we’ll need him in the second half of the season but that is news to me, especially if we continue as we are.

Prior to Klopp’s presser, I thought that there was a ways to go before Virgil van Dijk would be inserted into the first-team but based off comments that Klopp made, the big Dutchman might make his Liverpool bow in the 230th Merseyside derby.

Van Dijk and co. training before the Everton clash.

Jordan Henderson, Nathaniel Clyne, Alberto Moreno, Adam Bogdan and Daniel Sturridge remain out. There are also question marks over whether Sadio Mane will be able to play following an African Awards ceremony tonight.


Everton are still without Maarten Stekelenburg, Ramiro Funes Mori, Leighton Baines, Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman.

Michael Keane probably won’t be risked after needing stitches following Everton’s defeat to Manchester United. Idrissa Gueye will start if he can recover from injury in time for the game, but there are doubts there.

Aaron Lennon, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jonjo Kenny, Phil Jagielka, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and James McCarthy could all return to the starting XI after dropping to the bench against Manchester United on Monday.

Predicted XI

Liverpool will probably take the opportunity to field a full-strength side from what’s available here. Everton will probably try to imitate their performance from the game at Anfield last month and bring a slow, and defensive gameplan. They will probably sit still and welcome the Liverpool attack onto them, and I personally think that it will be their undoing.

Roberto Firmino will come back into the side after being rested against Burnley and I think that he will be flanked by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and probably Sadio Mane. Hopefully that attacking line will leave the Everton defence traumatised, but it will take much more patience from the Liverpool team than we showed last month. I’d also like to see Trent Alexander-Arnold in the team, alongside a defence that is as strong as possible.

Liverpool: Loris Karius, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ragnar Klavan, Joel Matip, Andrew Robertson, Emre Can, Gini Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxalde-Chamberlain, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane.

Everton: Jordan Pickford, Jonjoe Kenny, Phil Jagielka, Ashley Williams, Cuco Martina, Idrissa Gueye, James McCarthy, Aaron Lennon, Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Key Battle: Ragnar Klavan vs Wayne Rooney.

I’m totally not using this as an excuse to talk about Klavan but the big Estonian holds a big place in the heart of mine and hopefully he can continue what has turned into a fine run of form when the Toffees visit Anfield yet again. What I know is that Rooney has lost his legs in recent seasons and no matter how clever Rooney is on the ball, he’s going to have to play a special game of football to get the better of Raggy here.

There’s levels of sarcasm there, you can decide which parts.

Klopp’s Words


It’s going to be a difficult game to predict and in my opinion it’s going to largely rely on how Everton approach the game. Bearing in mind that they played five at the back against West Brom, they may well throw every man behind the ball like they did when the teams faced off last month but I don’t see that happening as Liverpool will know to be a little more patient about the way they attack it.

I think Everton will try and attack us as much as they are able to and I think that it’s going to swing the game firmly in Liverpool’s favour. Call me stupid, call me optimistic, I’m going 4-0 to the Reds.


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