Any meeting between Merseyside’s two storied clubs matters in the local pride table, however for the first time in a while, the stakes between Liverpool and Everton are evenly matched where it matters.
While Jürgen Klopp’s Reds have consistently challenged at the top of the pile in recent seasons, the Blues have spent over a decade competing in mid-table, last finishing higher than sixth in the 2013-14 season.
When the eternal rivals meet on Saturday however, the two will find themselves separated by a mere three points on the table and in a dog fight for Champions League places. Everton supporters received a boost in the run up to the match, with Blues manager, Carlo Ancelotti revealing both starting midfielder Allan and leading scorer, Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be fit to potentially start:
“We preferred to give Allan one day training instead of staying on the bench,” the Italian coach said.
“He trained today and we hope he will be available for Saturday—to start. Also, Calvert-Lewin, I think, can start.”
The last meeting between the two in October saw Everton sitting surprisingly top of the league after a fast start and the Reds on their tail in second place. Unfortunately for Liverpool, none of excitement in the 2-2 draw went in their favor: Jordan Pickford knocked Virgil Van Dijk out for the season, Richarlison injured Thiago Alcântara with a horror red card tackle and VAR erroneously chalked of Jordan Henderson’s late winner.
This time, both teams come into the fixture with poor league form, the Reds having lost three on the spin while their crosstown rivals have suffered three defeats in their last five outings. A win would take Everton even on points with Liverpool but still just behind them in 7th place. For the defending Premier League champions, a win is essential as the fellow Champions League aspirants begin to make their move in the run in.