Everton vs Liverpool will be the first Merseyside derby as the 2020-21 Premier League season resumes after a lengthy international break. However, one look at the results so far, and it will be clear that this season won’t be as predictable as it was first expected to be.
Believe it or not, table-toppers Everton come into the match edging Liverpool as the favourites after a robust start to their season, where they have won all their four fixtures. However, history has not been kind to the Toffees in the fixture where they have lost 121 of their previous 287 encounters and won only 82 times.
In the recent past, however, a high-riding Liverpool have found it difficult to score at the Goodison Park. The last three derbies at the Goodison Park were goalless draws with the last goal scored in this venue was back in December 2016 by Sadio Mane.
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has started the season like a man who has previously won the league and knows exactly how to do so. Amongst their notable victories were a brisk 1-0 in Tottenham Hotspur’s backyard and a hard-fought 2-1 success at Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park.
Ancelotti, however, will continue to be without midfielder Jean-Phillippe Gbamin and forward Cenk Tosun as they remain sidelined with long-term injuries. Defenders Mason Holgate and Jonjoe Kenny are unlikely to be available for the clash against Liverpool as well. However, Everton’s real blow will be missing out on star enforcer Yerry Mina, who picked up a thigh injury on international duty.
With Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, all starting underwhelmingly, Liverpool fancied an easy run to the title yet again this season. But, their bubble was burst in the rudest way possible when they were beaten 7-2 by an Aston Villa side before they headed to the international break.
Liverpool would like to bounce back by beating fierce rival Everton on Saturday and they have huge boosts in the return of Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mane, both of whom have returned after testing positive for COVID-19 previously. While centre-back Joel Matip has returned to training as well, he isn’t expected to be rushed into the fixture. While captain Jordan Henderson is expected to return to the first team, goalie Alisson Becker and midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will take time to recover from injuries.
Everton (4-3-3): Jordan Pickford; Seamus Coleman, Ben Godfrey, Michael Keane, Lucas Digne; Allan, Andre Gomes, Abdoulaye Doucoure; James Rodriguez, Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Liverpool (4-3-3): Adrian San Miguel; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara; Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino
VISIT OUR BLOG TO GET YOUR FIX FOR ALL OF THE MOST CURRENT FOOTBALL NEWS STORIES & FEATURES