Merseyside rivalries are resumed this weekend in one of the most intriguing clashes between the two rivals in recent years, early league leaders Everton hosting champions Liverpool at Goodison Park.
Everton have endured a miserable record against their city neighbours in recent years but will be in confident mood following a flawless start to the campaign, here is all you need to know about Saturday’s clash:
It’s been a perfect start to the season for Carlo Ancelotti’s new-look side who find themselves top of the division, winning each of their four league fixtures to date and all six in all competitions.
Marquee addition James Rodriguez has starred as arguably the Premier League‘s most influential player over the opening weeks of the season, instantly settling in his new surroundings following a frustrating period at Real Madrid.
Fellow summer signings Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure have also significantly strengthened the club’s engine room, the duo revolutionising a once powder-puff midfield and bringing energy and dynamism to the side.
Confidence is currently flowing through the side following victories over Tottenham, West Brom, Crystal Palace and Brighton, with no player perhaps enjoying their football more than Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The forward stands as the joint-leading scorer in the Premier League with six goals already, and he will be relishing the prospect of taking on Liverpool after opening his account for England on his senior debut during the international break.
Everton face nervous waits on the fitness of Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne, after both players picked up slight knocks whilst on international duty, though could hand Ben Godfrey a debut following his deadline day move to Merseyside.
There were many tipping the title race to be another one-horse race following Liverpool‘s start to the season, only for an astonishing result at Aston Villa to shatter perceptions in a season of shocks to date.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had looked impressive in securing consecutive wins over Leeds, Chelsea and Arsenal, before capitulating in spectacular fashion to lose 7-2 in one of the Premier League’s all-time shocks.
The international break has provided a chance to regroup and the squad is likely to be boosted by the returns of Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara this weekend, though the absence of goalkeeper Alisson is a major blow with deputy Adrian having come under criticism of late.
Liverpool could hardly have been given a more difficult clash to bounce back with a trip to face their rivals and league leaders, but their ability to respond will be an indication of the Reds’ credentials to win back to back championships.
Will the club be able to solve their defensive issues and prove their Villa nightmare to be just a stunning shock, or will their seven-goal hammering have left mental scars?
Everton 0-0 Liverpool, 21st June 2020
Fans will hope for an improvement on the last meeting between the rivals following a hugely forgettable clash at Goodison Park last season, Everton briefly halting Liverpool’s march towards the title with a goalless stalemate.
The clash was the first league fixture for both sides following a three-month hiatus of the Premier League season and both understandably showed rustiness after so long without action, Liverpool lacking inspiration with Mohamed Salah only deemed fit enough for the bench.
It was the second successive goalless derby played at Everton and Liverpool had goalkeeper Alisson to thank for securing a point, the Brazilian international making saves to deny Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, whilst Tom Davies also hit the post for the hosts.
Predicted Line ups
Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne; Doucoure, Allan, Gomes; Rodriguez, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.
Liverpool: Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Mane, Firmino.
Who is the referee?
How can I watch?
UK and Irish fans can watch the game on BT Sport 1, whilst US readers can view the fixture on NBCSN.
What time is kick off?
Saturday October 17th, 12:30 BST.
Everton – 11/4
Draw – 16/5
Liverpool – 5/6