Liverpool play hosts to the trembling Everton on Saturday evening at Anfield, hoping to end their miserable run in the Premier League in Gameweek 25.
A fascinating event awaits in the Premier League, as both Merseyside teams will lock horns in an intriguing clash at Anfield on Saturday. Liverpool will be raring to gain much-needed momentum in their league campaign, as their advancement so far has portrayed a series of unconvincing scenarios.
The Reds are heading into this fixture on a positive note, as they grabbed a crucial triumph against RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg. Jurgen Klopp’s men have been going through a rough patch for quite a while now, and they are well aware of the fact that from now on, they need to be steady enough for the remaining games to ensure their spot in the top four of the league table.
Like their opponents, The Toffees have managed to grab just two victories in their last five outings across all competitions, which does indicate their existent rugged phase. The daunting defeat against Manchester City in the previous match narrated much of the frailties in their plod, which has been a concerning sight for their Italian manager in recent weeks.
In the reverse fixture, the match ended up in a thrilling draw at Goodison Park, as the Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin spoiled the party for the visitors in the twilight minutes of that fixture. Here at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over two sides ahead of this captivating event in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
Team News & Tactics
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been sweating over the injury woes of his squad, as The Reds are going to miss some of those significant pieces in this mega clash. Virgil van Dijk and the Englishman Joel Gomez remain as the long-term absentees, and along with them, Joel Matip and the Liverpool No. 3 will not be available. Fabinho still needs a few weeks of recovery time to get himself back onto the pitch properly.
35-years-old veteran James Milner is suffering from a hamstring injury and as expected, he will be unavailable. The Portuguese international Diogo Jota is once again likely to miss out, due to his knee injury, and Naby Keita’s services remain doubtful, as the player is still working on his fitness issues.
Naby Keita has been working with Dr Andreas Schlumberger, who joined in December in the newly created role of head of recovery and performance. The hope is that by being extra cautious, Keita will come back and stay back for the rest of the campaign. #awlfc [@JamesPearceLFC] pic.twitter.com/g762p88seO
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) February 16, 2021
Alisson Becker should hold his favourable position between the sticks, as he will desperately try to re-establish his authority as the No. 1. In front of the Brazilian goalkeeper, The Reds’ fresh recruit Ozan Kabak could form the central defensive partnership along with captain Jordan Henderson, as their task will be to secure the backline in perfect shape.
Trent Alexander Arnold will slot in as the right-back, as his task will be to venture through the right flank with prominence. But the play needs to be steady in his defensive department, as Richarlison will try to squander the efforts of the Englishman with his brutal strength. On the other end of the unit, Scottish international Andrew Robertson will dictate the flow from the left channel, and his game-reading ability has to in fine-tune to cut off the threats on that territory.
Xherdan Shaqiri could draw the variation with his ability to pull the strings in subtle spaces of the pitch, and along with him, the summer signing Thiago will play a pivotal role in the central of the park, as he needs to bring stability in that particular zone. The Dutchman Gini Wijnaldum will try to narrow down the spaces with the left-back, which could prevent the opposition to pose any threat from that place.
Mohamed Salah would be raring to maintain his decent form, as he should be looking forward to rattling the cages of the visitors from the left-wing. On the other part of the attacking point, the Liverpool No. 10 Sadio Mane needs to be decisive in his plod. The final piece of the puzzle should be the Brazilian, as Roberto Firmino will relish the No. 9 role yet again, where his creativity could expose the weakness of the visitors’ defence.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Kabak, Robertson; Shaqiri, Thiago, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has missed Everton's last two games with a hamstring injury 🤕
But Carlo Ancelotti says he should be fit to start against Liverpool on Saturday 🙌 pic.twitter.com/kB05gNWB21
— Goal (@goal) February 18, 2021
The Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti could breathe a sigh of relief, as his entrusted forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin should be available for the outing. Jean-Philippe Gbamin will not be featured, due to his Achilles tendon injury, and the central defensive midfielder still needs a decent amount of time to make an announcement.
The Brazilian midfielder Allan seems to be the doubtful figure of this tie, as Everton are still concerned about his fitness complications. Yerry Mina is all set to miss another game, as he is suffering from a calf injury, and he is expected to return within the first week of March.
Carlo Ancelotti could set his team in such a huge clash in 4-2-3-1 formation, and to start the proceedings, Jordan Pickford will start as the last of the defence. The Englishman Michael Keane could be in the right-back position for this event, as his strength should solidify that region.
Ben Godfrey will construct the defensive pair with the Everton No. 23 Seamus Coleman, as both of the players need to showcase their composed characters against such fearsome attackers. The Frenchman will remain as the inevitable face in the left-back, as his ability to push the attack forward from the left channel needs to be at its top tune.
Abdoulaye Doucoure has been cherishing an impressive season under his manager, and once again, the player will orchestrate the midfield territory by forming the double pivot structure with the Englishman Tom Davies. Both the midfielders will be assigned to write off any possible threats, and against the formidable presence of Thiago and Shaqiri, they need to uplift their standards for their side’s betterment.
On the right-wing position, James Rodriguez should command the attacking half with his eye-boggling acrobatics, as his ethics could be fatal in such a ruthless affair. On the left-wing position, the Brazilian forward Richarlison will try to hammer the hopes of the hosts, as the forward does possess the attribute to kill off his opponents at any moment.
The 31-years-old Sigurdsson will desperately try to reinvent himself as the No.10, and his experience in Everton colours could be essential in such an enormous fixture. Dominic Calvert-Lewin will lead the pack upfront, as his sheer decisiveness could cause problems to the hosts’ defensive unit.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Keane, Holgate, Godfrey, Digne; Doucoure, Davies; Rodriguez, Sigurdsson, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin
1. Everton Asian Handicap +1.5 @ 1.650
1. Everton to win @ 7.00
♦ In their last 24 meetings, Liverpool have surpassed The Toffees 11 times (D12). On the other end, Everton had managed to snatch just 1 win, and that was back on 17th October 2010.
♦ Liverpool have won just 2 games in their last 5 fixtures (L3). The visitors are facing the same scenario, as The Toffeeemen are heading into this event on the back of a two-game losing streak.
♦ The Reds have gathered 23 points out of a possible 36 in their home fixtures. Everton have been quite impressive when it comes to away visits, where they had outclassed their oppositions on 7 occasions out of 11.
♦ Mohamed Salah of Liverpool has already bagged 17 goals in this league campaign. The Everton No. 9 Dominic Calvert-Lewin stands on the 3rd position of the top scorer list, as he placed the ball back into the net 13 times.
♦ It has been more than 31 years since The Toffees planted a victory over their arch-rivals at Liverpool’s courtyard. The last time they pulled off a famous win at Anfield was on September 27, 1999.
Player to Watch
The Brazilian forward has not been consistent so far in this season, and his indecisiveness inside the final third has haunted him thoroughly. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has always considered the Liverpool No. 9 as one of those engrossing pieces of his scheme, which allowed his side to penetrate the opposition’s halves in a sumptuous manner on many occasions.
Former Hoffenheim scout Lutz Pfannenstiel, who first scouted Roberto Firmino before his move to the Bundesliga, believes the Brazilian forward is Liverpool's most important player.
Do you agree? 🔴 pic.twitter.com/O1L6OzCNhW
— Goal Africa (@GoalAfrica) February 16, 2021
However, the player’s recent form of this player has not been an extravagant sight to behold, as his theatrics was not able to provide much-needed dimension in such a desperate period. With just 6 goals and 7 assists across all competitions, the forward has demonstrated a far-from-ideal exhibition, which is needed to be solved within no time. As for now, the player would be eyeing to pounce on this freshly served opportunity, where he could change the course of his fortune in his favour.
Liverpool 2-1 Everton
However, Solidity in the backline should be the foremost priority for Jurgen Klopp, which is understandable enough by looking at the circumstances. As for Everton, they need to be patient with their approach, and have to capitalise on those crucial layers of the clash.
Merseyside derbies have been providing extravagant flavour throughout the years, and as always, this time also it will not be the opposite. The Reds are more likely to dominate the proceeding by maintaining a heavy amount of possession, and their eagerness to wreak havoc on the defensive unit of the opposition could allow them to flourish in their fortress. Here in The Hard Tackle, we are expecting Liverpool to triumph in this Merseyside derby.