Liverpool go to Goodison to play a Rafa Benitez-managed Everton in what is bound to be a hugely (mixed) emotional affair.
Last season this fixture came on match week 5. Everton headed the table with a 100% record and Liverpool found themselves in 5th. The game finished 2-2 but will be most remembered for two horrendous challenges on Van Dijk and Thiago respectively. It took Thiago five months before he got back to full fitness and Van Dijk much longer. It derailed Liverpool’s season to such an extent the reds did well to finish 3rd.
For Everton, it did nothing. They finished 10th.
The teams go into this fixture in contrasting form. Liverpool’s last 5 league games have gone Man U 0-5 Liverpool*, Liverpool 2-2 Brighton, West Ham 3-2 Liverpool, Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal*, Liverpool 4-0 Southampton*. Everton’s, by contrast have gone Everton 0-1 West Ham, Everton 2-5 Watford, Wolves 2-1 Everton, Everton 0-0 Tottenham, Man City 3-0 Everton.
*Threads started by me.
Everton play Brentford away today so will have one less day to recover.
On paper we will sweep them aside, and I expect that to happen. As always in recent times I’m concerned about injuries in this fixture. Klopp’s mention of this yesterday might help to sway the ref a bit. It seemed to work when he complained about all the penalties Utd were getting! Three or four nil to us isn’t out of the question.
Our starting 11 picks itself for this, hopefully we get a decent ahem referee and he makes sure he clamps down on any thuggery from the bitters and finally I hope they don’t sack Rafa after the hiding we give them.
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Really hope they aren’t as fired up for this as the past few years, maybe Rafa has them a bit calmer but I doubt it. They still only have two games a year on which to judge their season, and after their terrible run they will be looking to even more to make a point.
Fingers crossed for a couple of early goals and some good game management from us to quiet thing down a bit.
Sad that fear of injuries is the prime topic of discussion than football for a derby. Never should have come to this, but the horrendous challenges and lack of appropriate punishment for those has made this happen.