Liverpool vs Everton Preview: Blues look to end Anfield hoodoo in 232nd Merseyside Derby
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Liverpool vs Everton Preview: Blues look to end Anfield hoodoo in 232nd Merseyside Derby

A preview of the 232nd Merseyside Derby.

Connor Bennett

Everton will make the trip across Stanley Park for the 232nd Merseyside Derby on Sunday, looking to taste victory against Liverpool for the first time since 1999.

Marco Silva’s Blues are in fine form - winning four of their last five games. They’ve shown positive signs of progression under the Portuguese boss but the derby against Liverpool is his biggest test yet.

Performances away at the Premier League’s 'top six' have been improved on recent years but results are still lacking. Everton have already tasted defeat away at Arsenal and Manchester United but fought valiantly for a draw away at Chelsea.

Liverpool have won two of their last fives game and are unbeaten at home so far in this campaign. However, It may be an ideal time to play Jurgen Klopp’s side with the Reds travelling back from a difficult defeat in the Champions League away to Paris Saint-Germain during the week.  

After a difficult start to the season, last season’s star Mohamed Salah is back and firing with three goals in his last five games.

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Last season’s meetings

The two sides met three times last season - twice in the league and another in the FA Cup Third Round.

Both league games ended in a draw, a 1-1 draw at Anfield and 0-0 at Goodison Park with the Blues being managed by Sam Allardyce in both games. The Reds won the FA Cup meeting 2-1 thanks to a late Virgil Van Dijk header.

As expected, the Blues offered in the way of attacking impetus in all three games - totalling four shots on target across the three meetings.

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Klopp praise for Blues

Jurgen Klopp is unbeaten in his seven meetings with Everton, putting three different managers to the sword. He was, however, full of praise for the Blues’ current form and recognises the challenge they possess this time around.

"They're a really good opponent. The games were always difficult in the last couple of years but the improvement of Everton is obvious,” complimented the German. "It's a completely different team, different style. It's good."

The Reds boss further added: "That's a proper squad - and it would be, in all the leagues, in Europe I'm 100 percent sure in whatever competition."

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Silva full of ambition

The Everton boss says he will not let the word ‘fear’ surround his squad before their trip to Anfield and that a dreadful streak such as the Blues’ is one to be broken.

Speaking in pre-match press conference, Silva said: "We'll respect our opponent like we did against Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea - we will do the same against our opponent on Sunday. But we don't change our ambition in our way - and these type of words (Fear) don't come inside our dressing room, never.

"Ambition always is there, enjoying the moment, and nothing more.”

He added: "What I want is to see our team be ourselves, nothing different from what we've done in the big games up until now.

"I'm sure that's what the fans to see as well, our team fighting to achieve a good result and win the match. Here we have one way - to think game-by-game and prepare for the next, and for us that's the derby.”

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Injury news and predicted XI’s

The Reds will be without captain Jordan Henderson after he saw red against Watford last weekend.

Klopp also noted that his side are nursing a number of knocks suffered in the physically challenging game in Paris on Wednesday night.

The Blues, however, have no fresh injuries to report. Yet, Silva may be inclined to make at least one change to the side that beat Cardiff City last Saturday. Ademola Lookman could take the place of Theo Walcott with the former Arsenal man struggling for form in recent weeks.

All three central defenders, Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Kurt Zouma, are fully fit and ready - giving Silva the option to set up with a more defensive focus if he so chooses.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Van Dijk, Gomez, Keita, Wijnaldum, Milner, Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Digne, Keane, Mina, Gueye, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Bernard, Richarlison.

Match Day Stats

  1. Liverpool’s current run of 17 matches without defeat against Everton in all competitions is their longest unbeaten sequence against their rivals.

  2. There has been a goal scored from a set-piece in of the last six meetings between the two sides at Anfield.

  3. A defeat at Liverpool would mark the 1,100th away league loss in Everton history.