Table-topping Everton take on defending champions Liverpool in an eagerly-awaited Merseyside Derby as Premier League football returns.
Goodison Park , Liverpool, England
Key Stat: Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 22 consecutive matches against Everton, though they have failed to score in any of their last three matches at Goodison Park.
Expert Verdict: Everton went into the international break with four wins from four, sitting top of the table after a fine start to the season. Liverpool's dodgy defence haunted them in their most recent game to end their own winning start, meanwhile. They will be keen to bounce back, and the Reds' excellent derby record could be key in this match.
Carlo Ancelotti has a long injury list to contend with, but Seamus Coleman and Allan could be fit to face Liverpool according to the manager and Andre Gomes is definitely available. Yerry Mina missed training earlier in the week as a precaution, while Lucas Digne is another one to be assessed. If Coleman, Digne and Mina are passed fit, it could be the same team that started against Brighton. The big question is how bold Carlo Ancelotti wants to be with his tactics.
Everton have won all seven matches they have played so far this season – three in the Carabao Cup and four in the Premier League. Prior to the international break, they followed up a 4-1 win cup win against West Ham by beating Brighton 4-2 – Dominic Calvert-Lewin opened the scoring and Yerry Mina restored the Toffees’ lead, before James Rodriguez’s double sealed victory.
Defenders:Seamus Coleman, Yerry Mina, Michael Keane, Lucas Digne
Midfielders:Abdoulaye Doucoure, Tom Davies, Gylfi Sigurdsson
Forwards:James Rodriguez, Dominic Calvert Lewin, Richarlison
Joel Matip could be fit to return for this game to bolster Liverpool’s troubled defence, while Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mane are back in contention after their enforced medical absences. Adrian will continue in goal, with Alisson still sidelined.
Liverpool were not convincing at the start of the season but they were winning games – as they did in similar circumstances at times in the last two seasons. That all unravelled last time out, however, when Aston Villa smashed seven past them. Mo Salah scored in each half, but the Reds were 4-1 down at the break and their winning start to their title defence was ended in spectacular fashion.
Defenders:Trent Alexander Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Andrew Robertson
Midfielders:Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara
Forwards:Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah, Sadio Mane
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 22 matches in all competitions against Everton although each of the last three matches at Goodison Park have ended goalless. Those results contributed to Liverpool missing out on the title in 2019 and falling short of a century of points last season. They met in the league and FA Cup at Anfield last season though and Liverpool won both. Curtis Jones scored the only goal of the cup tie and the league match ended in a 5-2 Liverpool win, in which Divock Origi scored twice. Xherdan Shaqiri, Sadio Mane and Gini Wijnaldum also scored for Liverpool while Michael Keane and Richarlison were on target for Everton. Here are the last five results:
Jun 21, 2020: Everton 0-0 Liverpool
Jan 05, 2020: Liverpool 1-0 Everton
Dec 04, 2019: Liverpool 5-2 Everton
Mar 03, 2019: Everton 0-0 Liverpool
Dec 01, 2018: Liverpool 1-0 Everton
Liverpool have a dominant record against Everton, as they look to extend a 22-game unbeaten streak in the Merseyside Derby.
But this is a Merseyside Derby with a difference, because this time around it s Everton going into the game top of the table and clear of their rivals.
Liverpool’s spectacular defensive horror show against Aston Villa showcased their obvious weaknesses.
Those weaknesses are not new, but they have been successful in masking them with their obvious – and numerous – strengths over the last two seasons.
And those strengths will return against Everton, with Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara available again, and Joel Matip to slot into the defence.
Everton have several players back from injury too and can pick back up the momentum they showed before the international break.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin will spearhead the attack again and James Rodriguez has already proved his worth since signing this season.
But the Toffees so often come up short against Liverpool. They had the perfect chance to end their poor run of form when they faced an under-strength Reds team in the FA Cup last season but buckled under pressure.
Those sorts of results make it hard to back Everton, even with their new look, excellent form and table-topping position.
Liverpool have a hold over them in Merseyside Derby matches, and the Red half of Merseyside could be celebrating again on Saturday.
Liverpool’s dominance in this fixture is summed up by the fact they are still favourites for this match, and can be backed at 5/6 to win with Bet365, Betway and 10Bet.
There have been no goals in the last three meetings at Goodison Park, but with plenty of goals in both teams’ matches so far this season it worth backing them this time. Both teams to score is 8/15 with Bet365.
Over 2.5 goals will return 4/7 with 10Bet.
Sadio Mane is back for Liverpool and he is a best price of 7/5 with Bet365 to score at any time, while in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin is 8/5 with Bet365.
Liverpool need to respond to their Aston Villa horror show and, with Everton too often coming up short in the derby, this is a big opportunity.