Liverpool will be hoping to book their place in the FA Cup fourth round when they welcome local rivals Everton to Anfield on Sunday.
FA Cup action continues on Sunday, as teams vie for a place in the next round of the prestigious cup competition. The marquee fixture of the day will be the second Merseyside derby of the season, as Liverpool play hosts to Everton at Anfield.
Liverpool have been nearly unstoppable in domestic football, with last month’s defeat to Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup, wherein practically the under-23 team had turned out, the only occasion when they have been on the wrong end of the result. In the Premier League, the Reds look on course to win the title for the very first time, and they now turn their attention towards the FA Cup.
Everton, on the other hand, are on the recovery trail following the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti. Struggling to get wins under their belt under the tutelage of Marco Silva, the arrival of the current incumbent has instilled a sense of belief, which was evident in the 2-1 loss to Manchester City earlier this week.
Liverpool and Everton have already locked horns once this season, with the Reds cruising to a 5-2 win, courtesy goals by Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri, Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum, Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the FA Cup encounter.
Team News & Tactics
The injury woes are piling up for Liverpool, with Naby Keita ruled out of the game against Everton due to a groin injury he sustained ahead of the 2-0 win over Sheffield United. Keita joins Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri on the sidelines.
The raft of injuries means Jurgen Klopp will be unable to make a lot of rotations, although Alisson is likely to be afforded a rest. In the Brazilian’s stead, Adrian should start in goal. Defence should see some big changes as well, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson being given a breather.
In their absence, Ki-Jana Hoever and James Milner are likely to form the full-back pairing. Virgil van Dijk might get a rest as well, with Nat Phillips expected to start in his place, partnering Joe Gomez at the heart of the Liverpool defence.
Up ahead in midfield, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum might not start, with Adam Lallana and Curtis Jones getting rare starts. Takumi Minamino is, meanwhile, set to make his Liverpool debut against Everton, much like van Dijk a couple of years ago.
The frontline should see a complete makeover, with the fit-again Rhian Brewster leading the line for Liverpool. Divock Origi, who has produced some of his best performances against Everton, will start on the left flank, with Harvey Elliott being deployed on the right wing.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Adrian; Hoever, Gomez, Phillips, Milner; Jones, Lallana; Elliott, Minamino, Origi; Brewster
Carlo Ancelotti does not have any fresh injury concerns to deal with ahead of his side’s short trip to take on Liverpool. On Sunday, the Everton manager will be without just three first-team players, with Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Andre Gomes and Alex Iwobi all on the treatment tables.
Ancelotti could ring in the changes against Liverpool, whilst still retaining a strong core. Jonas Lossl is likely to replace Jordan Pickford between the sticks, but the back three should see regulars starting. Michael Keane, Mason Holgate and Yerry Mina should, thus, all start.
Seamus Coleman ought to move up to the right wing-back slot, with Leighton Baines getting a rare run-out on the left. Morgan Schneiderlin is fit again after recovering from a calf injury and should join Tom Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson in the middle of the park.
Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are likely to be afforded some rest. In their stead, with Bernard and Moise Kean expected to start in their stead.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Lossl; Keane, Holgate, Mina; Coleman, Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Davies, Baines; Bernard, Kean
- This will be the 235th Merseyside derby, and the 25th time the sides have met in the FA Cup. It is the most played fixture in the competition’s history. Liverpool have won 11 of the previous 24 FA Cup encounters (D6 L7).
- Liverpool have lost their last two FA Cup matches (to West Bromwich Albion in 2018 and Wolves in 2019). They have not lost three in a row in the competition since a similar sequence from 1952 to 1954
- Everton have been eliminated in the FA Cup third round in three of the last five years – as many third-round exits as in the previous 16 seasons.
- Carlo Ancelotti has won seven of his 12 games as a manager against Liverpool, including four of the last six.. That includes a 2-0 home win for Napoli in September – the only defeat the Reds’ first team has suffered this season.
- Divock Origi has scored in all four of his appearances against Everton at Anfield (five goals in total).
Player to Watch
Origi has made a name out of delivering in clutch moments for Liverpool over the last year or so. However, no team has suffered at the hands of the resurgent Belgian more than Everton, who have been at the receiving end of some iconic Origi performances.
One such display came last month in the first Merseyside derby of the season, a comfortable evening for Liverpool. Expect Origi to come out guns blazing once again, with Everton likely to be subjected to another classic Origi performance.
Liverpool 2-1 Everton
This is a game that is hard to call due to the sheer number of rotations between the two sides. Liverpool are carrying loads of confidence heading into their FA Cup third round fixture, while Everton are slowly finding their rhythm and will be no pushovers unlike the last time they met their local rivals.
Expect a keenly contested affair to ensue, with a goal each coming on both ends of the pitch. However, with the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane likely to come off the bench if required, Liverpool should have more than enough quality to edge this tie, only just. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for Jurgen Klopp & co.