Jurgen Klopp’s side won’t need any extra motivation to put the disappointment of the midweek 2-1 loss to Paris St Germain behind them when they take on Everton this weekend at their Anfield fortress.
Things haven’t been easy for Liverpool away from home in the Champions League, but the Reds will be desperate to bounce back and maintain the pressure on Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.
After a rough start to the season, the Toffees have begun to find their feet under coach Marco Silva, picking up five wins from seven starts.
Everton remain in sixth place and while the Reds have flattered to deceive in Europe, they have enough class up front to grab all three points at home.
Here are five things to keep an eye on during the Merseyside derby this weekend...
Can Everton make history?
It’s been a long time between wins for the visitors, with the Toffees last win at Anfield coming in September 1999. Despite Liverpool’s slump on the road in Europe, the Reds are unbeaten at home in the Premier League this season.
Liverpool have conceded only five goals in 13 starts in the top flight this season, with the addition of Brazilian goalkeeper Allison a major difference for the Reds this season. The Toffees have had their own issues this season against the Premier League top six. Everton lost 2-1 at Old Trafford, 2-0 at Arsenal before a scoreless draw against Chelsea before the international break.
Pressure on both dugouts this week
There were plenty of questions over Jurgen Klopp’s use of Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum in Paris this week. The midfield duo were torn to shreds in the opening half against Neymar and co. in Paris and it wasn’t until a return to Klopp’s trusted 4-3-3 formation that we saw Liverpool click into gear.
An attacking trident of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino should start against an Everton defence that has struggled to contain the counter-attack. A poor derby performance will put pressure on Everton boss Marco Silva.
Everton have fallen short of expectations after a sizeable transfer outlay this summer and another mediocre result against the Reds will put pressure on Silva and his young side.
Richarlison needs to win the battle against Salah
Everton boss Marco Silva copped plenty of flak for his £40 million outlay on bringing Richarlison to Goodison Park.
The Brazilian was quick to silence the doubters with a double in his opening game against Leicester at the start of the season. The Toffees will be needing the Brazilian to fire-up against a Liverpool defence that has conceded only one goal at home in EPL this season.
Is Firmino’s patchy form a worry?
Unlike his compatriot Richarlison, the Brazilian talisman has struggled for form this season, only breaking a two-month goal drought against Watford at Vicarage Road last round.
Firmino struggled to make an impact in the midweek Champions League fixture and Klopp will need his talisman to be at his best in what looms as a crucial fixture for the home side’s EPL title chances.
Defence continues to be an issue for Everton on the road
Everton have only a single clean sheet to date this season away from home, with a 0-0 result against Chelsea. Michael Keane, Kurt Zouma and Yerry Mina have struggled for consistency in the early half of the season.
Nine goals conceded away from home haven’t helped the Toffees chances and a lapse against an attack led by Mo Salah could prove to be fatal for Everton’s chances of breaking their drought at Anfield this weekend.News Now - Sport News