After the second international break of the 2023/24 season, the Premier League returns on Saturday with the iconic Merseyside derby as Liverpool and Everton face off against each other at Anfield.
October’s pause might have come at an opportune moment for the Reds, considering they’ve dropped points in their last two league matches (D1, L1), sliding to fourth in the standings.
Following a controversial 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, Jurgen Klopp’s side fought back from an early deficit, only to see their 2-1 lead cancelled out late in a dramatic 2-2 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion last time out.
Klopp will relish the upcoming home return, with Liverpool running riot at Anfield this season, as evidenced by a flawless five-match winning record here, accompanied by a resounding 14-3 aggregate score.
Nothing less than another victory will do for the 19-time Premier League winners if they’re to stay within touching distance of table-topping Arsenal, with three points separating the sides at the start of this round.
Everton make this short journey amid a mini-revival, hoping to throw a spanner in the works and piece together back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.
Sean Dyche’s team pulled off a morale-boosting 3-1 home triumph over Bournemouth on the stroke of the international break, making it three wins in their last four competitive outings (L1).
However, the former Burnley manager is not out of the woods yet, as the Toffees come into proceedings holding a fragile three-point lead on the 18th-placed Clarets.
Liverpool’s home dominance in this fixture is long-standing. A 2-0 defeat in February 2021 remains the only blemish on an otherwise intimidating H2H league record at Anfield this century (W13, D9).
Since that upset, they have won two straight top-flight meetings with Everton at Anfield by an identical 2-0 scoreline, conceding a mere two shots on target across those encounters.
Klopp would appreciate another similar defensive display after seeing his men keep a clean sheet only once in their last ten Premier League games, courtesy of a 3-0 demolition of Aston Villa at this stadium in September.
While there’s ample room for improvement at the back, the German manager cannot complain about Liverpool’s attacking output, with the Reds finding the net in 18 straight top-flight games.
Despite alternating between winning and losing across their last four Premier League matches (W2, L2), the Toffees have alleviated some pressure on Dyche.
Everton stunned Brentford 3-1 on their most recent league travel, registering only their second top-flight success outside Goodison Park in 2023.
That said, they have racked up an inspiring four-game unbeaten run on the road (W3, D1), all competitions included, since a dismal 4-0 defeat at Aston Villa in late August.
More importantly, Dyche’s men have seemingly rediscovered their scoring touch on hostile turf, netting at least two goals on their last four competitive travels.
Scotland skipper Andy Robertson will have to undergo further checks after picking up an arm injury against Spain during the international break, but the early prognosis is not encouraging.
If he fails to recover in time, he’ll join Stefan Bajcetic, Thiago Alcantara and Cody Gakpo in the infirmary, with Kostas Tsimikas likely to take his place on the left side.
As for Everton, Seamus Coleman is nearing a long-awaited recovery, but Andre Gomes and Dele Alli remain on the sidelines.
The good thing for Dyche is that Dominic Calvert-Lewin has not just regained full fitness but also his scoring form, tallying three goals in his last four appearances in all competitions.
Liverpool potential starting line-up:
(4-3-3): Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk, Kostas Tsimikas; Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Curtis Jones; Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez.
Everton potential starting line-up:
(4-4-1-1): Jordan Pickford; Ashley Young, James Tarkowski, Jarrad Branthwaite, Vitaliy Mykolenko; James Garner, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Amadou Onana, Dwight McNeil; Jack Harrison; Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
We Say: Liverpool 2-1 Everton
Everton’s form resurgence may not be enough to beat Liverpool at Anfield, but Dyche’s troops can make their arch-rivals sweat.
We expect the Reds to maintain their impeccable home record this season.
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