Liverpool will likely be on top of the world this Saturday as they cross Stanley park to play Everton in one of the most exciting derbies in world football. Once known as the “Family Derby”, the Mersyside clash is now one of the most intense and disputed games of the season. With more red cards than any other rivalry in England, you know you are in for a treat this weekend as such desire to win is seen every so often.
Even if the game is taking place at Goodison Park, Liverpool are still favorites. Their most recent performance against City in the Champions League and the overwhelming victory record against Everton (only 9 games lost by the Anfield side in 51 PL matches) point towards what would be a very useful 3 points for Klopp.
Everton haven’t won against Liverpool since 2010 and haven’t managed to score more than one goal against The Reds since 2014. At this point in time, both teams are probably equally motivated to finish the season strong so the PL table positions will not carry much weight. The difference will be made by key players on both sides, with players like Salah, Mane, Rooney and Walcott looking to be game changers.
Along those lines, Liverpool will have the upper hand as their injured list will not be as worrying for match day as that of Everton.
Klopp will not be counting on Klavan, Lallana, Matip and Gomez who are still recovering from injuries and have no return dates set for this season.
He will also have to wait and see if Salah and Can will be fully fit. Even though the 2 were rumored to be available this Saturday, it remains to be seen if Liverpool would risk losing Salah for a couple of weeks in favor of the Merseyside Derby where we all know he would make a difference.
On the other side, Everton have 6 important players injured 5 of whom will not definitely not be available for match day.
Sigurdsson, McCarthy, Mangala, Holgate and Stekelenburg will not be on the pitch anytime soon.
Idrissa Gana will return after a 2 week injury but he is unlikely to be 100% fit for the game against Liverpool.
Liverpool is definitely favorite here and will surely be able to handle not having a fully fit Salah. Klopp will most likely use the following line-up to move away even further from Chelsea who still have a mathematical chance of overtaking Liverpool in the Champions League race – that is unless Liverpool win the Champions League:
Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Lovren, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Despite the motivation in this derby for Everton and Klopp’s side we predict a tight affair with maybe a 1-0 Liverpool win on the cards.