Everton welcome Liverpool to Goodison Park in the first Merseyside derby of 2021-22 season as Rafael Benitez’s Toffees take on his former team in a blockbuster clash.
Victory would lift Everton into the top ten if results elsewhere swing their way, whereas a win could put Liverpool top if Manchester City and Chelsea both fail to win elsewhere.
Demarai Gray could start for Everton after being named as a substitute in Sunday’s away defeat against Brentford.
Richarlison could return from suspension but Mason Holgate is serving the last of a three match ban whilst Yerry Mina (hamstring), Andre Gomes (calf), Tom Davies (knee) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (quad) remain absent.
Liverpool could welcome Naby Keita back from a hamstring injury if he passes a late fitness test, after he wasn’t fit enough to feature in Saturday’s win over Southampton.
Roberto Firmino (hamstring), Joe Gomez (calf), Curtis Jones (eye) and Harvey Elliott (ankle) remain ruled out.
- Everton are unbeaten in four of their last five league meetings against Liverpool (W1, D3, L1).
- Liverpool have won just one of their last nine visits to Goodison Park (W1, D8).
- Jurgen Klopp’s Reds failed to keep clean sheets in both games against Everton last season, drawing 2-2 at Goodison Park and lost 2-0 at Anfield.
- Rafael Benitez is only the second manager after William Edward Barclay to manage both Everton and Liverpool.
- Five of Diogo Jota’s seven league goals for Liverpool this season have been across both feet with three goals fired in on his left foot compared to two on his right foot, alongside two headers.
Having endured seven matches without a win and still without some key players, Everton definitely need a huge lift from the home crowd for this Merseyside derby because they were lacklustre at Brentford on Sunday despite slowly growing in intensity throughout the game.
Liverpool however come into this match in rampant form with ten goals in three matches since returning from the international break, which should be worrying for Everton because Jurgen Klopp’s Reds were simply ruthless in their clinical win over Southampton on Saturday.
On that note, Rafa Benitez needs his Toffees to start on the front foot with an organised defensive display because if Liverpool score early, this game could be over pretty quickly with a red victory.
Prediction: Everton 0-3 Liverpool