The idea of Liverpool heading into the derby against Everton trailing their local rivals is unheard of in recent seasons, but with the Blues flying high and the Reds coming off an embarrassing defeat at Aston Villa, that’s where we find ourselves this week.
Liverpool, though, are still defending champions. This is the same group that won the Premier League last year and the Champions League the year before that. And Jürgen Klopp says they will try to use that heavy defeat to their advantage.
“The night after the game was not the best night of my life,” the Liverpool manager told the BBC when asked about the Reds’ last game, that big loss to Aston Villa. “Losing 7-2 makes it of course worse, but sometimes—and we have to show that—more useful.
“Now we have the chance to show that on Saturday lunchtime against Everton. That makes it really interesting because now we face a team who is flying after we got a proper knock. So now let’s see who deals better with that.”
For Everton, being top of the table—even after just four rounds—and the league’s in-form side as they face their rivals is new, and Saturday will be a chance for to show they can handle being as close to favourites as they’ve been in a derby match in a long time.
As for Liverpool, this side has proven they have the mental fortitude to bounce back from poor performances—and the odd poor result, though there have been few of those over the last few years—and the expectation has to be that they will again.
“In some respect I like it more than losing 3-2, because it’s just more clear,” Klopp reiterated. “We could have lost that night 3-2 and the boys go to international teams, we do the analysis, and that is it pretty much. This is more useful.”