It’s that time of the year again. Everton and Liverpool face off at Anfield as the Blues make their way across Stanley Park to face the Reds in the Premier League. The Anfield Talk’s Logan (@kidddlogan) previews the first Merseyside Derby of the season.
WHO: Liverpool vs Everton
WHEN: Sunday, 2 December
WHERE: Anfield, Liverpool
TIME: 4:15 PM GMT, 11:15 EST
TV: Sky Sports, NBCSN
Before I get to previewing the matchup I’d like to encourage everyone who is making their way to Anfield to bring food with them to be donated to the Northern Liverpool Foodbank. This time of year in particular, lots of people go hungry and we want to ensure that everyone gets fed this holiday season. Any amount is needed and is appreciated. If you have any questions as to what can be donated, visit the Northern Liverpool Foodbank website.
Last Wednesday in Paris was a very difficult night for the Reds. Facing a Paris Saint-Germain side that would not stay off of the ground crying about being touched, proved to be a test of the character and patience of this Liverpool squad. The same type of emotions that are exemplified in the Merseyside derby on a regular basis. Liverpool will have to be able to control their emotions as well as staying to their game in order to continue the domination of Everton.
The back four along with Alisson will be crucial to shutting down the Everton attack as well as getting the attack moving up field quickly. Virgil van Dijk and presumably Joe Gomez have to be able to maintain Richarlison and his runs along with being able to control the tempo of the game with their forward passing. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson will have to be able to provide exquisite service into the box to allow the forwards to have an excellent opportunity to finish their chances. Andy Robbo will have to deal with Theo Walcott and his pace down the right flank.
The midfield trio is going to be quite interesting. With the suspension of Jordan Henderson after receiving a red card last weekend at Watford, there is an opportunity that everyone in Liverpool has been waiting for. The midfield could feature both Fabinho and Naby Keita starting for the first time together. Both are dynamic game changers in the midfield which could help Liverpool to dominate the game. Xherdan Shaqiri needs to be in the attacking midfield role with Fabinho and Keita behind him so that he is able to get even farther forward to have a greater impact in the game. Although it is uncertain who will feature in the midfield, they will have to put pressure on the Everton midfielders when they are on the ball and they have to be able to help close down the spaces that Richarlison will want to run into.
After a rather slow start to the season, the front three has been heating up as the temperatures are starting to fall. Mo Salah has been on an absolute rampage over the last several games and look for that to continue against Everton as their defence struggles to contain someone with so much pace. Roberto Firmino is still struggling a little bit as he is trying to do too much deeper in the midfield. If he wants to be able to have success again, he needs to stay a little bit farther up the pitch and not get caught too deep in the midfield. Tomorrow could be the perfect time for Bobby to get back on scoring ways as he shouldn’t have to come back to gain the ball in the midfield as much as he has had to in games past this season.
Liverpool Team News
Jordan Henderson will be serving his one match ban after receiving a red card against Watford last weekend.
Adam Lallana is most likely not going to be featured in the squad against Everton as he is recovering from yet another injury.
Last weekend’s 1-0 victory over Cardiff City was easily not the best performance from the Blues this season. If they want to have any chance of beating Liverpool this weekend they will have to be able to step up all aspects of their game.
Jordan Pickford and the back four will be extremely busy Sunday. The constant pressure that the Liverpool attack will be putting on them will be burdensome, but they will have to be able to bend, but not break to get any sort of result. They will also have to be strong on and off of the ball so they do not get embarrassed once again like Mo did to them with a world-class finish.
The midfield of Everton will absolutely have to be able to defend as a unit along with the defence. In the matches last season against Liverpool, the midfield would get caught going too far forward in unnecessary circumstances. To limit the time and space of the Liverpool attackers, their defence needs to be able to efficiently communicate and defend alongside and just in front of the back four.
The attack, which only consists of Richarlison, will be looking for a ‘smash-and-grab’ type of goal and play style. Richarlison will be looking to cause trouble and to get van Dijk stirred up in order to try and get him out of the game, but look for him to be pressuring the back line in to making an error in which could lead to a goal-scoring opportunity.
Everton Team News
Everyone in the Everton squad is in contention for tomorrow’s matchup.
The last time that these two sides met was in a very sloppy 0-0 draw at Goodison.
I think that Liverpool will cause Everton to have a sense of reality that they are not as good as they think they are and will win 4-0.