| Sunday, April 24th |
Premier League | Anfield
4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST
It’s a tale of two fortunes when the Red and Blue sides of Liverpool clash on Sunday afternoon. Liverpool will be chasing the league title, while Everton will be scrambling to avoid relegation.
Liverpool are in the midst of a hugely successful run of games. Since the start of 2022, the Reds have won 11 of their 13 Premier league games, and drew the two against Chelsea and Manchester City. Those results are the reason that the team is where they are now, only one point off of City in the race for Premier League glory.
Everton’s results have not been so impressive, leaving them precariously above the drop zone with a tough run of fixtures left to close out the season. However, a shock 1-0 victory over Manchester United and a late-game draw against Leicester City have given the Toffees four points from their last two games. They’ll need every point they can get to beat off the threat of Burnley, only one point below them in 18th place.
The games are coming thick and fast for Liverpool in the closing weeks of this season’s campaign. With them still competing in all three remaining competitions, the onus is on Jürgen Klopp to manage his players effectively so that they continue at their fighting best for the challenges to come.
One of Sadio Mané or Mohamed Salah, both of whom scored against United, could get a break in favor of putting Diogo Jota up front. Roberto Firmino missed the United match with an injury. Klopp seems tentatively positive about him returning for the derby, but if he does, it will likely be on the bench.
Everton currently have the worst Premier League away record, having lost 10 out of their last 11. Liverpool, on the other hand, have won all of their last 11 matches at Anfield, conceding only two goals in the process. However, the Merseyside Derby is its own beast, with emotions running high and the referees often feeling the pressure along with the players. While on paper it seems like the game is Liverpool’s to lose, red cards and injuries are still a concern when the Reds take on their neighbors.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Keïta; Salah, Jota, Díaz
Klopp has said that Firmino should be ready to return to the squad after missing Liverpool’s 4-0 victory over Manchester United. Even if he is fit, he’s unlikely to start the game. Other than that, the team is fit, and the only thing Klopp has to worry about is rotation. Goal scoring sensation Ibrahima Konaté might give Joël Matip — or even Virgil van Dijk — a much-needed rest.
One of the wing-backs could get a break for this one. Konstantinos Tsimikas could see some time to give Robertson a break, while Joe Gomez could take Alexander-Arnold’s place on the right. Thiago Alcantara was transcendent against United, but with his worrying injury record, Klopp will likely want to save him for Villarreal.
For Everton, Lampard will be without Donny van de Beek, Andre Gomes and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Additionally, they continue to be without Tom Davies, Nathan Patterson and Andros Townsend.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jürgen Klopp: ”I can’t remember a derby where it wasn’t important for us. I don’t know where we’d be without the points (against Everton), or the ones we didn’t get last season when we lost.”
Frank Lampard: “Of course, it’s a tough game we’re going into. I make no bones about that. It’s a team that have just put four past Manchester United, I watched the game against Manchester City. You have to respect them as a team. It’s a team with incredible players throughout and an incredible squad with options and an incredible manager.”
Referee: Stuart Attwell. Assistants: Lee Betts, Timothy Wood. Fourth official: Jonathan Moss. VAR: Darren England. Assistant VAR: Dan Robathan
Kickoff is set for 4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST tomorrow. In the meantime, The Liverpool Offside team will keep you updated with all of the team news and match buildup as it becomes available, along with providing a matchday liveblog and post-match recaps and reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.