Everton visit Anfield on Saturday evening as Liverpool look to end a run of three consecutive defeats.
In what will be the first behind-closed-doors Merseyside Derby at Anfield, it offers little spectacle but has greater intrigue as a result.
Jurgen Klopp’s side need a win to reaffirm their top four credentials where as city rivals Everton are looking to pick up their first win at the home of reigning Premier League champions since 1999.
A win for Carlo Ancelotti’s side would see the Blues move level on points with Liverpool as they look to play in Europe for the first time in four years or better still qualify for the Champions League, ending their 15-year absence.
The 2-0 win in Budapest over RB Leipzig has seemingly reinvigorated a previously flat-looking Liverpool. However, despite holding the advantage in the first leg, there is still room for improvement for the Reds.
We asked the LFCTR Writers who they think should line-up for the 238th Merseyside Derby.
Phillips in, Henderson pushed into midfield
Liverpool have seriously been lacking creativity and that is partly due to the crisis they currently find themselves in.
With Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies’ Anfield careers still in their infancy, it’ll be wrong – like for the Manchester City game – to thrust the Preston academy graduate into the squad for his debut. On the other hand, the 20-year-old Turk has started bright, despite the costly collision with Alisson at the King Power, he didn’t do too badly on his Premier League debut and put in an even better performance in Hungary on Tuesday.
As we learned in the reverse fixture at Goodison Park, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Michael Keane are dangerous from set-pieces, so for me Nat Phillips has to replace Jordan Henderson enabling the Liverpool skipper to advance forward, something that has been cried out for, for a number of weeks.
Curtis Jones put in a man of the match performance in midweek and deserves another start, he has history against the Toffees too.
Liverpool Starting XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Reds Remain Unchanged
Ideally for this one, Fabinho would have been back to partner Ozan Kabak in central defence, but this game has come too soon for the Brazilian.
Henderson can often get caught out playing as a centre-back but I don’t see Klopp giving Davies or Phillips the nod in this one.
I imagine he’ll go with an unchanged XI to the one that we saw beat Leipzig in the week. Jones put in a monumental performance and Thiago has unfinished business against Everton.
The front three looked threading in Hungary and will be hungry to replicate the Champions League performance in the PL.
Catch All The Everton Build Up
- Liverpool Target Scouting Report: Nikola Milenković
- On This Day: Liverpool beat Swansea
- Liverpool Need Stability to Salvage their Season
- Liverpool Linked Midfielder Fails to Rule Out Exit
- Reds Target Haaland Release Clause Revealed
- Why Minamino’s Loan is Working to Perfection
- Jordan Henderson Set To Miss Five Games
- Souness: “They Are A Shadow of Their Former Selves”
- Wijnaldum on Everton Defeat: “It’s Frustrating”
Henderson & Kabak Pairing Continues
Considering Liverpool’s impressive win against Leipzig and the eight days until their next fixture, anticipate Jurgen Klopp to make few, if any, changes.
Alisson was back to his best in midweek with a commanding display and, more importantly, his first clean sheet in eight games. Despite not featuring in training earlier this week, it looks like will start anyway, after Klopp gave the all clear in Friday’s press conference.
If Liverpool can pick up some defensive momentum, results will start to swing in their favour. Therefore, I expect Klopp to build on Tuesday’s performance and stick with the same backline, with Ozan Kabak and Jordan Henderson at centre-back.
Naby Keita looks to be nearing his return from injury, after he resumed training earlier this week. However, I think Klopp will once again opt for a three of Georginio Wijnaldum, Thiago and Curtis Jones. The latter will be fired up for his first Merseyside derby since his 25-yard screamer guided Liverpool to victory in the FA Cup last year.
I cannot see Liverpool modifying their regular front three until Diogo Jota returns from injury. Saying that, Divock Origi does love a Merseyside derby – the Belgian has six goals against the Toffees.
Liverpool Predicted XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Kabak, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah, Mane, Firmino
Salah & Mane Looking To Continue Their Goalscoring Exploits
After an excellent display midweek against Red Bull Leipzig I assume there will be minimal, if any changes.
Contrary to reports, Jurgen Klopp stated in his press conference that Alisson is fine and therefore for me he keeps his place in goal.
With Fabinho sidelined, I expect the same centre-back pairing of Ozan Kabak and Jordan Henderson to continue. The 20-year-old Turkish international impressed midweek helped keep a clean sheet against Leipzig.
I think that Jurgen Klopp will once again start the midfield trio of Thiago, Georginio Wijnaldum and Curtis Jones. Klopp few options to choose from and all three stepped up and controlled the midfield against the German side.
The usual front three pick themselves. Goals win games and naturally with Mo Salah and Sadio Mané both netting in midweek they should have the confidence to continue finding the back of the net.
Liverpool Predicted XI (4-3-3): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Henderson, Robertson, Jones, Wijnaldum, Thiago, Mané, Firmino, Salah.