The latest chapter of a long-running saga pits ex-Reds manager Rafael Benitez against Jurgen Klopp’s high-flying title bidders.
An underwhelming 1-0 loss at newly-promoted Brentford at the weekend extended Everton’s winless run in the Premier League to seven matches.
Having dropped to 14th in the table, only six points clear of the relegation zone, the Toffees are in the midst of a severe crisis that puts Benitez’s job in jeopardy.
With those donning the blue of Everton already voicing their concerns over the Spaniard’s ability to fashion the Merseysiders’ comeback, Benitez will have no margin for error on Wednesday.
Unfortunately for the 61-year-old, his underperforming side will meet Europe’s supreme scoring power, Liverpool, in one of the most formidable challenges out there.
While Everton cannot catch a break these days, the Reds have been on an upwards trajectory since club football returned to action in mid-November.
Klopp’s men have won their last three matches in all competitions by ten goals ‘to nil,’ including an overwhelming 4-0 victory over Southampton on Saturday.
Everton vs Liverpool Head-to-Head
Everton came out 3-0 victors in the first edition of the Merseyside derby in October 1894, but the overall H2H record gives the Reds a firm upper hand since that inaugural clash (W95, D76, L67).
The Toffees have won none of their last ten Premier League duels with Liverpool at Goodison since a 2-0 triumph in October 2010, though it’s worth noting that eight of those ten encounters ended level (L2).
However, there is still a piece of history for Everton to play for here.
They could beat their local rivals in back-to-back league meetings for the first time since 1985, having claimed a 2-0 win at Anfield back in February.
Since a 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in early November, Everton have failed to get on the scoresheet in their three subsequent Premier League games (D1, L2).
A lack of ruthlessness in front of goal has coincided with the long-term absence of the Toffees standout striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who won’t be a part of Benitez’s matchday squad.
It will be up to the Brazilian star Richarlison to spearhead the attack on Wednesday, with eight of his last eight club goals scored coming at Goodison.
The 24-year-old may have experienced a topsy-turvy season, but he is still Everton’s most talismanic forward.
Fantasy Premier League enthusiasts should bear in mind that he was on the scoresheet when Everton won at Anfield earlier this year.
Stars could finally ally for Everton here, as they’ve only lost one of their last 13 Premier League fixtures over midweek (W7, D5).
Not many European sides are superior to Liverpool at this moment, with the Reds netting 2+ goals in each of their last 17 outings in all competitions.
Including the 2020/21 season, Klopp’s men have scored two or more goals in their last 13 competitive games on hostile turf, a feat currently off the charts in top-tier English football.
Much of the credit for Liverpool’s free-scoring form goes to Mohamed Salah, who tops the Premier League scoring leaderboard with 11 goals and eight assists to his name.
But in addition to the Egyptian’s well-documented scoring prowess, Thiago Alcantara, who is undergoing quite a renaissance at Anfield, could be a wise Fantasy Premier League pick.
That Spanish midfield dynamo deserves the benefit of the doubt, having scored in his last two competitive appearances for Liverpool as he starts to find his feet in the Premier League.
With Fabinho playing deep and Jordan Henderson choosing safe passes, Thiago could be Klopp’s trump card going forward at Goodison.
Everton vs Liverpool Predicted Lineups
Everton (4-4-1-1): Jordan Pickford; Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey, Lucas Digne; Andros Townsend, Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Alex Iwobi; Demarai Gray; Richarlison.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara; Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane.
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