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Derby Preview: Liverpool vs Everton

Liverpool take on crosstown rivals Everton in the 200th Merseyside Derby as they enter the final 10 games of the season. The Toffees will host the Reds in an attempt to ruin Liverpool’s chances at winning the league title for the first time in almost 30 years.

Team News

Liverpool travel to Goodison with an almost completely fit squad. Long term absentees Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez are not expected to feature, whilst Dejan Lovren is still recovering from his hamstring injury.

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Roberto Firmino sat out the 5-0 win over Watford in mid-week but could return to the starting line-up for the Merseyside derby. However, a more likely scenario will see the Brazilian start on the bench.

Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita could return to the starting line-up against Everton but the more likely of the pair to regain his place is Henderson. With Keita having to settle for a place on the bench.

Everton are expected to be without Leighton Baines after Marco Silva ruled him out with a back injury. Yerry Mina could return to the Blues’ line-up after he only made the bench in mid-week following an injury of his own.

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Kurt Zouma also returns for Everton, having served his suspension.

Predicted Line-Ups

Liverpool: Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Andy Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum; Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Divock Origi. 

After being left out of the squad to face Manchester United, it’s likely that Trent Alexander-Arnold will retain his place from mid-week, following the young right-back’s hat-trick of assists.

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Joel Matip will retain his spot in the team with neither Dejan Lovren or Joe Gomez ready to return to the side.

James Milner will drop to the bench in favour of either Jordan Henderson or Naby Keita. The other two of the midfield three; Gini Wijnaldum and Fabinho, have safe spots in the side.

Divock Origi will follow up a decent performance against Watford with another start against Everton. The Belgian looking to score against Everton for the second time this season.

Everton: Jordan Pickford; Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane, Kurt Zouma, Lucas Digne; Idrissa Gueye, Andre Gomes, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Theo Walcott, Richarliason; Dominic Calvert-Lewin. 

Last Time Out

The last time Liverpool faced Everton, the game ended in a well documented, dramatic way. Divock Origi scored the only goal of the game in the sixth minute of stoppage time at the end of the second half to give Liverpool a historic late victory.

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In pre-match interviews heading into this Sunday’s clash, Marco Silva has been coy about his side’s chances following what he deems a close encounter in the reverse fixture at Anfield.

“I didn’t see a big difference,” he said. “I managed my first Merseyside derby last December and what I felt was a special match for both teams.”

“They celebrated that lucky goal (like it) was the final of a World Cup for us and for them.” These comments were in response to Jurgen Klopp calling the Merseyside derby “their World Cup final.”

The final stretch

Liverpool come into this game on a run of 18 successive Merseyside derbies without defeat. Everton last winning a game between the two sides in 2010.

Despite that, Everton will be hungry as ever to get one over their cross-town rivals. Liverpool could even be down to second in the league by the time the match kicks off, with Manchester City’s game against Bournemouth being played on Saturday.

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That being said, Liverpool should have enough quality to see a victory against Everton and ensure another vital three points in the title race. A race that Everton, above all other teams, would like to take from Liverpool.

 

WHEN: 16:15 (GMT), Sunday, March 3, 2019
WHERE: Goodison Park

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