It’s here. The mother of all derbies. Liverpool vs Everton. The bitter rivals will take on each other in a key clash in the race for Europe. Both the teams will be gunning for the win and return to winning ways in this prestigious fixture. Here at Ball that matters, we will be doing an in-depth preview of the Merseyside derby.
Form and buildup
Liverpool has been in extremely poor form domestically, having lost their last three matches in the Premier League. A 3-1 loss at Leicester and a 4-1 loss to City have all but destroyed their title hopes. However, they continued their fabulous European form with a 2-0 win away at Leipzig. They look finely poised to move on to the next round and embark on another charge for the UCL
Last 5 (PL) – LLLWW
Unlike Liverpool, Everton does not have any European competition to worry about. Despite that, their form has been extremely poor over the last month or so. They have now lost both of their last two premier league matches against City and Fulham and have looked toothless in attack and defense. They were looking like serious top 4 contenders but this worrying run of form has hampered their chances.
Last 5 (PL) – LLDWL
Team News and Lineups
Liverpool are without Joe Gomez, Diogo Jota, Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip – all of whom are recovering from long term injuries. Naby Keita has recovered from his injury and is back in first team training but may not be rushed back so soon. Fabinho and Milner may also miss out.
Everton also have their share of injury worries. Calvert Lewin missed their last two games with injury but may feature in this key clash. Yerry Mina is ruled out and Allan remains a doubt.
Head to Head
Liverpool have had a stranglehold over their Merseyside neighbours for more than a decade now, remaining unbeaten in their last 23 meetings across all competitions – their longest unbeaten run against an opponent in their entire history. In the Premier League alone Everton have failed to win any of the last 20 editions of this derby, which is also their longest ever winless run against a single opponent in the competition.
Players to Watch Out For
Mo Salah has been on fire this season and has definitely been Liverpool’s brightest spark. The Egyptian King tops the Premier League golden boot table and has carried this Liverpool side for the majority of the season. He will be hoping to continue this fine run of form and return his team to winning ways.
The Turkish center-back had a nightmare start to his Liverpool career against Leicester but put in a solid defensive performance against Leipzig. His aerial ability and tackling were nearly perfect in the round of 16 clashes and he looked comfortable in central defense. He will play a key role in handling the double threat of Richarlison and Calvert Lewin and must be on the top of his game.
The Brazilian center forward will play an important role in Saturday’s clash and will hope to build on his goal against City in midweek. His pace and dribbling will prove useful against Liverpool’s defense.
Dominic Calvert Lewin has been Everton’s most consistent performer this season. The young English striker has been lethal in front of goal and is known for remarkable finishing and headed ability. He is in a race to be given the green light to feature against Liverpool and Ancelotti will hope his star man is fit for the game. He can cause Liverpool serious problems.
A loss to either side can be seriously harmful to their top 4 charges and may extend their miserable runs of form even further. It is a must win game for both and the pressure will be even higher as it is a derby. As a Liverpool fan, I will have to back my side in this derby clash but these matches often prove unpredictable. It promises to be another important and enthralling night of Premier League football.
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