It’s the 227th iteration of the Merseyside derby, and both Liverpool and Everton will be hoping to build on key midweek victories after varying spells of indifferent performance. Though it’s a fixture in which the form book typically goes out the window, the hosts recently put in a fine performance to end a winless streak, while Jürgen Klopp’s side vented their frustration over dropping points to Bournemouth and West Ham by thoroughly beating Middlesborough.
After sprinting out of the blocks at the outset of the 2016-17 season, Everton have stumbled slightly, and are currently tussling with West Bromwich Albion for the right to chase Manchester United’s sixth place spot in the table. Ronald Koeman, lured from Southampton back in the summer, has voiced his frustration with the squad and with himself, noting that solutions need to be found before the transfer window opens. His players responded well midweek, unnerving Arsenal with their aggression and intensity.
They will no doubt attempt to replicate that intensity against Liverpool, with memories of the 4 goal drubbing at Anfield likely to surface in the pre-match buildup. Everton will have to do so without captain Phil Jagielka, who will serve a suspension for some silliness in the match against Arsenal. This means that Ramiro Funes Mori may make an appearance in the middle of the back four. Elsewhere, danger man Yannick Bolasie and Muhamed Bešić are still ruled out with long-term injuries.
If Funes Mori does make the starting lineup, Liverpool may be out for a little payback of their own (but with goals, of course). The Everton defender will no doubt get an earful from the away supporters after his cynical takedown of Divock Origi at Anfield led to the Belgian striker being out of commission for a prolonged spell. While Origi is back in action, and has shown an impressive goalscoring return of late, Liverpool have several other fitness-related question marks.
Emre Can, Daniel Sturridge and Joël Matip are all edging closer to fitness, and may have some part to play in this derby. Given Klopp’s unwillingness to risk heavy minutes for convalescing players, it’s more likely this trio starts the match on the bench unless there’s a late breaking development. This means Liverpool may start the derby with the same look they offered at Middlesborough midweek, and Simon Mignolet may get another chance to make a good impression while Loris Karius takes some time off to curate his Instagram account.
For Liverpool (4-3-3):
Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner
Lallana, Henderson, Wijnaldum
Mané, Origi, Firmino
A victory for Klopp’s men would see them pull back to within six points of leaders Chelsea, while a win for Everton would allow them to leapfrog West Bromwich Albion and Southampton for sole ownership of seventh place.
Kickoff is set for 8:00PM GMT/3:00PM EST on Monday from Goodison Park, with the game set to be carried live in the UK on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Go, and in the United States on NBC Sports. Full television listings for tomorrow’s match can be found at LivesoccerTV.
We'll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it's released, our live matchday thread and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on all the action as it happens.