The Merseyside Derby takes centre stage on Saturday tea time, as Everton travel across Stanley Park hoping to beat Liverpool at Anfield for the first time in over 21 years.
The last time the Toffees got the better of their cross-city rivals, Kevin Campbell scored the only goal in a 1-0 win in a game where Steven Gerrard received the first ever red card of his career. You do get the sense that there’s never been a better time to beat Jurgen Klopp’s side than right now though, with Liverpool failing to win any of their last three league games at Anfield.
Burnley, Brighton and Manchester City have left their encounters with Liverpool with the points recently, but Klopp’s side did return to winning ways in midweek, beating RB Leipzig 2-0 in the Champions League.
Ozan Kabak enjoyed a much improved performance than the one he turned in against City, and is expected to start alongside Jordan Henderson at centre-back again, with Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez not close to returns. It was against Everton at Goodison that the Dutchman was last seen on a pitch, and it could be next season before we see him again.
Diogo Jota may return at the end of the month after a knee injury, but Naby Keita could be back in the squad after missing the trip to his former club in midweek. Fabinho and James Milner also missed that game with muscle issues, and both will be assessed closer to kick-off.
Everton’s selection issues centre around their top scorer, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin missing the games against Fulham and Man City with a hamstring problem. He is expected to make it providing there’s been no complications during his return to training.
Jean-Philippe Gbamin is the only certain absentee for Carlo Ancelotti, with the 25-year-old spending almost his entire Everton career on the treatment table since signing from Mainz in August 2019. He is close to a return though, and hopes to make just his third league appearance for Everton before the end of the season.
Liverpool will go above West Ham into fifth if they get the win, and also leapfrog Chelsea if the Blues don’t beat Southampton earlier in the day. Meanwhile Everton will go level on points with the Reds if they can extend the Anfield misery.
Liverpool take on Everton at Anfield on Saturday, February 20th. Kick-off is at 5.30pm.