Premier League: Liverpool v Everton

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.

Premier League: Liverpool v Manchester City

The most eye-catching clash of the weekend comes at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, as title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City meet in the latest instalment of the hottest rivalry around.

In all honesty, a few weeks ago, this game looked like one that would carry massive title implications for both sides, as they were separated by a single point. Since then though, Liverpool have done what some would have considered unthinkable, and lost twice at home to Burnley and Brighton, leaving the gap between the sides at seven points.

City have been perfect in the league since drawing with West Brom in December, winning nine straight games that has seen them go top of the table, and ten clear of Liverpool if they take the points at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp still has defensive issues ahead of the game, although not the same headache he’s had in recent weeks. he now actually has options at the back after signing Ozan Kabak from Schalke and Ben Davies from Preston, but has to decide whether he wants to throw them in against City for their Premier League debuts. Jordan Henderson is another option at centre-back, but you’d guess Klopp would want his captain patrolling the midfield in such an important game.

Alisson missed the defeat to Brighton due to illness, but is expected to be back after training fully on Friday, meaning he should return between the sticks. Sadio Mane and Fabinho were also missing for that game, but should recover in time to play some part.

Joel Matip, Naby Keita, Virgil Van Dijk, Diogo Jota and Joe Gomez are all still missing for the Premier League champions.

Pep Guardiola has no fresh injury worries ahead of the game, with Kevin De Bruyne and Nathan Ake still out with injury. Sergio Aguero has only just started training on the grass again, and needs more time to build up match fitness.

John Stones and Ruben Dias haven’t conceded a goal in 990 minutes of playing together, which is bad news for a Liverpool side that haven’t scored at home in their last three fixtures, a run that was unfathomable from a team that put seven past Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park earlier this season.

If City can take the points, it will almost certainly be seen as the final nail in Liverpool’s title challenge, but a win for Klopp will reignite a title race that has lurched from one extreme to the other all season.

Liverpool take on Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday, February 7th. Kick-off is at 4.30pm.

Premier League: Liverpool v Brighton

After both sides picked up important wins at the weekend, Liverpool welcome Brighton to Anfield on Wednesday night, hoping to keep the gap between themselves and Manchester City at a minimum.

The game signals the start of a massive week for the Reds, who face City at Anfield on Sunday, knowing that two wins this week will have Jurgen Klopp’s men leading the pack with 15 games remaining.

If they are to claim maximum points, Jurgen Klopp will be hoping his new signings can settle quickly. Ben Davies signed on deadline day from Preston North End, and was quickly joined by Schalke defender Ozan Kabak, who signed a six-month loan deal with an option to buy.

Considering Kabak was a regular in the Schalke side that went 30 games without winning over the last year, Liverpool will be hoping he can shake that losing feeling when he pulls on a red shirt.

Brighton were also busy on Deadline Day, with sought-after South American Moises Caicedo signing a permanent deal with the Seagulls from Colombian club Independiente del Valle. Graham Potter has confirmed he won’t go straight into the squad though, having not played a game since December.

Also missing for Brighton will be Alireza Jahanbaksh, Tariq Lamptey and Florin Andone, while Danny Welbeck is close to a return but rated 50/50. Joel Veltman and Alexis Mac Allister will also have late fitness tests to determine their involvement.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip are both not expected to play again this season, with Matip damaging ankle ligaments against Tottenham. Either of Liverpool’s two new signings could make their debuts, or even both alongside each other, with Jordan Henderson keen to return to midfield after filling in at centre-back recently.

James Milner could make way after being withdrawn against West Ham with a slight hamstring injury, but Fabinho is unlikely to be risked ahead of the Man City game on Sunday. Naby Keita and Diogo Jota are both also out, while Sadio Mane will be assessed after missing the West Ham game as a precaution with a knock.

Liverpool take on Brighton at Anfield on Wednesday, February 3rd. Kick off is at 8.15pm

Premier League: Tottenham v Liverpool

Both sides have topped the pile at one point or another this season, but find themselves struggling for consistency right now, with the rest of the challenging pack overtaking them in the hunt for the Premier League title.

Spurs go into the game eight points behind leaders Manchester City, having topped the table as recently as December. A month is a long time in football, and this season especially, and a poor run over Christmas has saw them lose ground on their fellow challengers.

Going into the game, Mourinho has spoken of injuries causing him headaches, with full-backs Matt Doherty and Ben Davies both missing with problems, while Giovanni Lo Celso and Dele Alli are also both out. The rest of the squad should be available though, with key men Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min both fine after being called into action when Spurs were pushed by Wycombe in the FA Cup earlier this week.

Liverpool’s injury issues are slightly more serious, although not as bad as they have been in recent months. The loss of almost all their senior centre-backs has seen them slip away from the top of the table, but Jurgen Klopp should have Joel Matip back for the trip to the Capital.

Jordan Henderson missed the FA Cup defeat to Manchester United last weekend, but is also expected to return to midfield alongside Thiago and Gini Wijnaldum.

Naby Keita, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Diogo Jota are all long-term absentees, with the Portugal striker probably the closest to a return around March-time.

With the sides separated in the table by a single point, the game carries huge significance in the race for the top four, which seems to swing one way then the other as each gameweek completes. Liverpool’s first home loss in almost four years to Burnley last time out summed up their recent problems, as they failed to score in their fourth league game in a row.

If they are to break that duck, they’ll have to find a way past a Spurs side that boast the second fewest goals conceded in the league this season. Only Manchester City have shipped fewer than Jose Mourinho’s side, whose counter-attacking style could make for an entertaining battle of tactics when the teams do collide.

Spurs take on Liverpool at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday, January 28th. Kick-off is at 8pm

Premier League Preview: Liverpool v Wolves

The Reds will have fans back for the first time in 2020 in what is a timely boost for Jurgen Klopp’s squad.

The German boss is without nine first teamers for the visit of Nuno Santo’s side, meaning he will once again need to rely on his young stars to step up.

Jordan Henderson and Andrew Robertson should be OK to start for Klopp but Naby Keita and Trent Alexander-Arnold are not yet fit enough to return.

Klopp’s injury list means Neco Williams and Curtis Jones should keep their starting spots with Irish keeper Caoimhin Kelleher in line for his Premier League debut.

Wolves talisman Raul Jimenez misses this game after suffering a head injury at Arsenal last weekend, with Portuguese teenager Fabio Silva set to fill in as his replacement in Santo’s only likely change.

And kick off is 7.15pm on Sunday night at Anfield.

Liverpool without 3 key players for Champions League clash

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was not giving too much away regarding the timescales for their returns from injury but did reveal at his pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday’s Group D game that the trio would miss out against the Danish club.

Asked if they would be fit, Klopp said: “I don’t think so. It’s still what I said last week, we look day by day, but it looks like we’ll need a few more days.

“So for tomorrow night, they will probably not be ready.”

Defender Matip has been out since sustaining a knock in the Merseyside derby on October 17 while Thiago (knee) was injured towards the end of the game at Goodison Park.

Fellow midfielder Keita, back in training after testing negative for coronavirus, has not played since coming off at half-time in the 7-2 hammering by Aston Villa just before the international break.

Tuesday’s clash at Anfield will be the first time the two clubs have ever met in a competitive fixture.

The game sees six-time winners of the competition Liverpool host a club who were only founded in 1999 and are making their first appearance in the Champions League.

It has been billed as David against Goliath by some of the media in Denmark, but Klopp does not see it that way.

“We don’t see Midtjylland as a small club, we see Midtjylland as a proper challenger in this group,” he said.

“No-one is part of the Champions League because they are nice cities, they are in the Champions League because they earned the right the year before.

“There are no small teams in the Champions League, there are only teams who show how big they are on the pitch, not in the press conferences before games.”

Last season, Liverpool, as defending champions, were knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 by Atletico Madrid and forced to watch the finale of the competition from their summer training camp.

Klopp is keen to avoid another early exit this time around and is ready to resume the club’s love affair with the competition.

“It should not happen again, of course, but that is far away. We played a really good game against Atletico, but people tend to forget that when you lose,” said Klopp.

“We love the competition even though we got knocked out early. It is Liverpool in the Champions League at Anfield again tomorrow, even though there is no crowd, and it is a competition we love. I hope we showed that last week too.

“There are no guarantees but plenty of opportunities and we like opportunities, so let’s see where we go.”