Sunday brings another derby against Everton. It’s THE game to win for Liverpool supporters and Everton supporters alike. The upside for Liverpool is that the Reds have been on a goal-scoring tear recently and Everton have been mostly teetering on the edge of the edge of the relegation zone this season. But the derby may be coming around just a bit too late to take advantage of the Blues’ floundering form. With new old boy Sam Allardyce taking over at Goodison, Everton have won three games in a row and will be heading into Anfield confident of leaving with something.
“I played him at three different clubs and I’m only two years here,” Klopp said of the fantastic way Allardyce seems to always land on his feet despite being fired a lot.
“And at each club, he did the job. He’s very successful. We know what we’ll get but that doesn’t make it easier because all Sam Allardyce teams are difficult to play.”
Difficult to play, difficult to watch. But, the Allardyce factor isn’t the only reason for concern leading up to the derby. The post-big win slump is also worth a mention. That 4-1 loss to Tottenham at Wembley followed that 7-0 demolition of Maribor.
“After our last clear win in the Champions League against Maribor, we were not spot on in the next game. And we have to be for sure tomorrow.”
Klopp on what to expect:
“Good organisation. Clear structure. Set-pieces on the highest level. Sigurdsson is born to deliver set-pieces. A lot of fights for second balls. We need to be ready for that.
“For us, the challenge is that we don’t expect to play like we did in the last twenty minutes against Moscow. That was confident. It was flying.
“We have to start from the ground, from the basis, again. We have to look for challenges and win challenges. We have to be perfectly organised. We have to protect all the things that we do in a perfect way.
“We must make it as difficult as possible for Everton to win any yard on the pitch.”
Everton’s league standing can’t be considered going into the derby. Allardyce has righted their ship for now and, of course, form goes out the window in these matches. Klopp will be drilling his team on the importance of a controlled intensity on Sunday with heavy importance on ‘controlled.’ Because Liverpool’s excellent form can be also be negated by an Everton plan to be physical and harassing. This fluid Liverpool side can often be had when opposing teams know how to frustrate their rhythm.
“In this game, people will say ‘it will be difficult for Everton.’ It will be difficult for us as well. In the end we have a better chance because we play at Anfield. That’s what we have to show.”
A call on the home supporters to be right up for this one is a good card for Jürgen to play here. Don’t get down on the squad because it’s not Spartak Moscow 2.0. Don’t get down on the squad because we should be dominating a team who were so recently battling humiliation.
The derby is an anomaly. Chaos reigns. And home field advantage is the only floating log in that raging river.