Liverpool vs Everton: Combined starting XI based on Premier League 20/21 form

Mina

Everton welcome Liverpool to Goodison Park on Saturday lunchtime in a rather peculiar position. 

These are fundamentally unpredictable times, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that the Toffees go into the fixture at the top of the table, knowing that a win against their bitter rivals would put them six points clear at the summit of the Premier League - for a fleeting moment in time, at least. 

And with Liverpool coming into the game on the back of a startling 7-2 humbling at the hands of Aston Villa, there is reason to suggest Everton could end a decade of pain this weekend. 

When the two sides take the turf this weekend it will be exactly ten years to the day since the last time Everton beat Liverpool. You have to trawl back to 17 October 2010 to find the last time Merseyside was painted blue, as Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta did the damage in David Moyes’ triumph over Roy Hodgson at Goodison.

Whisper it quietly but for the first time in recent memory the Everton fans will harbour a sense of tentative optimism, believing their side genuinely stand a chance of emerging with three points and long lost bragging rights.  

Carlo Ancelotti's side have been exciting to watch this season and boast a 100% record, while Jurgen Klopp's title winners are yet to fully rediscover their mojo.

Ahead of the game, GiveMeSport have put together a combined XI based on the comparative form of both sides so far this season, and the proportion of Everton players in the side serves as an apt illustration of just how impressive they have been.

Take a look at our selection below...

GK: Alisson 

Alisson

Alisson has enjoyed a typically solid opening to the campaign and warrants his place in the XI.

His save to deny Jorginho's 75th minute penalty arrived at a crucial time and allowed Liverpool to navigate the closing stages of their toughest challenge of the season so far.

Jordan Pickford's erratic form is yet to cost the table toppers but he's simply no match for the Brazilian nonetheless.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold 

Alexander-Arnold

Alexander-Arnold narrowly gets the nod over Seamus Coleman here.

The England international has not hit the ground running this season but he's still played with enough authority to justify his selection. 

Having played just one game out of a potential three during the international break, the 22-year-old should return this weekend with a renewed sense of vigour.

CB: Yerry Mina

Mina

Mina has been a rock at the heart of Everton's defence this season and earns his selection over Michael Keane. 

The Colombia international has completed 2.5 interceptions, 0.8 tackles and 4.5 clearances per game on average this season, while also completing 93.4% of his passes.

A goal against Brighton & Hove Albion also showcased his prowess in the opposition penalty area. 

CB: Virgil van Dijk

Van Dijk

So far this season van Dijk has not met the standard we've come to expect from him but it's worth remembering how high he's set the bar. 

A poorly judged - arguably arrogant - pass didn't cost the Reds against Leeds on the opening day of the season, but naturally it plucked the football fraud police out from hibernation, as did the 7-2 defeat against Aston Villa.

The aberration at Villa Park was a multi-faceted, freak result that van Dijk cannot be solely blamed for, so he just about sneaks into this team.

LB: Lucas Digne 

Lucas Digne

Everton's 2018/19 Player of the Year has all the attributes of a Champions League standard full-back; it's easy to see how he found himself on Barcelona's books before he moved to Goodison. 

The 27-year-old has picked up where he left off last season, providing a dynamic threat on the overlap and remaining solid in defence. 

His competitor for this position, Andrew Robertson, who, like van Dijk, made a mistake of his own against Arsenal, has not matched the Frenchman's level and misses out as a result.

CDM: Fabinho 

Fabinho

Fabinho continues to prove that he is the perfect blend of Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso.

The Brazilian was unflustered and domineering at centre-back against Chelsea despite having rarely featured in that position before, stifling the threat of a road-running Timo Werner. 

Perhaps a move into defence beckons for Fabinho just as it did for Mascherano at Barcelona.

Here, though, he's our midfield pivot selection.

CM: Allan 

Allan

The relatively diminutive, bulldog-like central midfielder has added bite to Everton's midfield.

Slick in possession and a dogged retriever of the ball, as his average of four tackles per game so far this season would suggest, the Brazilian's transition from Italy to England has been seamless.

That Allan worked under Ancelotti at Napoli will certainly have made the process easier. 

CM: Rodriguez 

Rodriguez

James Rodriguez arrived at Everton with a stuttering reputation to salvage and he's wasted no time in catapulting his status to fresh heights. 

An eye-catching debut against Spurs gave an insight into what lay ahead, and he followed up that display with three goals and two assists in just three league fixtures.

Working in tandem with Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the Colombia international's fitness could play a decisive role in Everton's season.

RW: Richarlison

Richarlison

Now this is where it gets tricky. 

Mo Salah has started the season in electric goal scoring form, but he misses out here due to the form of Everton's new-look triumvirate, namely Rodriguez, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin.

The interplay between the three attackers has been electric so far this season. Between them they boast a return of 16 goals and five assists, with Richarlison adding four and two of those respectively. 

Richarlison's inclusion is a testament to both his and Everton's attacking form rather than a criticism of Salah's. 

LW: Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane

Mane earns his place in the side for consistency and timing of key performances. 

The Senegal international stepped up to the challenge with a pair of immense displays against Chelsea and Arsenal, earning back-to-back Man of the Match awards in Liverpool's two sternest encounters of the season so far. 

It was no coincidence that his absence at Villa Park before the international break coincided with a damning 7-2 defeat. 

CF: Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Calvert-Lewin

The man of the moment.

Ancelotti has successfully managed to get Calvert-Lewin to channel his inner Filippo Inzaghi this season, with the Englishman bagging six goals in his first four Premier League games. 

The Sheffield United academy product also bagged a goal on his England debut during the international break to continue his hot streak. 

Will his rise in supporters' estimations continue in the shape of a priceless derby day goal? The form guide will tell you it's on the cards.

Here's the lineup in full...

XI graphic News Now - Sport News