Sam Allardyce: Everton have to get the job tactically right against Liverpool

Sam Allardyce: Everton have to get the job tactically right against Liverpool

Sam Allardyce’s pre-match comments ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside Derby clash with Liverpool at Anfield.

Connor Bennett

Everton have not won against Liverpool at Anfield since 1999, when a fourth-minute Kevin Campbell goal was enough for Walter Smith’s men to secure the three points.

Since then, David Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman have all tried their hands in the opposition dugout at Anfield and all have failed to bring three points back to Goodison Park.

Yet new Everton boss Sam Allardyce believes if his side can “get the job tactically right,” then the new manager in the Blues’ dugout may just have a chance at breaking that hoodoo.

Speaking to the media at Finch Farm, the 63-year-old boss said: “This is two clubs clashing together with great history. Unique to the city and unique in derby terms. It’s about handling the pressure and atmosphere, and handling a team in the best form since Jurgen (Klopp) arrived.

“There’s no doubt we have to master that front line before we can think about getting in the right areas.”

He continued: “It’s about not wasting the possession we get, and not letting the occasion overawe us. We need to get the job tactically right. When we get that possession and we know we won’t have as much as Liverpool, but how well will we maximise it and use it in the right manner.

“If we get a chance, when we get a chance, we need to score,” Allardyce said. “We need to be very clinical in our finishing and hopefully it gives us a good performance and result.”

The Blues have found the net nine times in their last three games but have failed to scored in a Derby game since 2015.

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Frustrating Liverpool

Since Allardyce has taken over the role at Goodison Park, the Blues have produced three clean sheets in three games - something they’ve not done all season.

Facing Liverpool, who have scored 15 goals in their past three games and only conceded one, the new Everton boss has an extremely difficult prospect on his hands for Sunday's game but he wants his side to frustrate their fierce rivals.

“You can’t just block two players off - it’s more than that, it’s four or five. That’s the hard bit,” Allardyce said.

“The runs they make, their finishing ability has increased, they don’t have to rely on one goalscorer. We have to try our best to cope with that - if we do cope with that.

"If we’re not going to be clinical then we’re going to struggle getting out of our own half. We won with Crystal Palace last year and that’s after going 1-0 down, have to look at that area, but yet again the team of Liverpool is playing much better but it can be done.”

The Everton boss added: “Playing the right way against Liverpool is what we have to do, it’s what we did with Palace. We played our tactics and they were better than theirs.”

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Team News

After making 11 changes for Thursday’s Europa League trip to Cyprus, Allardyce more or less has a fully fit squad to choice - minus long term injury absentees.

Yannick Bolasie and James McCarthy are back in training whilst Ross Barkley, Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes Mori remain a few weeks away.

Speaking on the injury list, Allardyce said: “I saw Yannick Bolasie and James McCarthy training with us and that’s good news. We have to get them back soon. Yannick is a couple of games with the under-23s or behind closed doors away, we could see him on the subs bench to begin with after that.

“I tend to be easier with James because of injury reoccurrence - I’m wary of that. Hopefully, by the middle of January, I have a massive (selection) problem.”