After a month of feisty footy action, the Premier League head on to a busy September as clubs all-round the Europe vie up to complete a good chunk of their fixtures owing to the upcoming World Cup later this year. Liverpool and Everton lock horns for the first time this season, and like many of their past Merseyside derbies this one should also lift up to the hype.
The Merseyside derby will kick off the gameweek 6, and it is looking as if a lot is at stake even though if you are a betting man you will probably put your money on the Reds earning the bragging rights. But the Merseysiders have had a dismal start to their campaign, while Liverpool have struggled to keep up at the top half of the table Everton are fighting their own battles at the bottom half, with the latter looking as if they will be fighting for survival this season.
On Saturday, the Evertonians would expect the new signings to light up Goodison Park with joy, but it would not be easy to do so as the Reds will have some of the big names returning into the squad after the injury and suspensions. So give or take, it is not the same Liverpool side that will lineup against Everton which has been struggling to contain the opposition’s pressure so far in the season.
When & Where?
Venue: Goodison Park.
Day & Date: Saturday, 3rd September 2022.
Time: 12:30 pm BST.
Referee: Anthony Taylor.
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn.
Fourth official: Craig Pawson.
VAR Official: Darren England.
Liverpool’s injury woes seem to shimmer down a bit, as Jurgen Klopp believes that Diogo Jota’s return is imminent as well as Thiago and Calvin Ramsay’s returns in a week or so. Given how busy September is going to be, no wonder this news must be sounding like a treat to the Kopites and the whole club alike.
However, as for the clash against Everton, it might have come too soon for the likes of Keita and Henderson, who pulled his hamstring against Newcastle and might be out for at least a week or two. But to compensate for such frequent midfield absentees, the Reds have signed Arthur Melo on loan from Juventus on the deadline day. Also, Curtis Jones and Joel Matip were seen on the bench against the Magpies and there’s much of a chance now for them to feature in the clash against the local rivals on the weekend.
Another boost to the LFC’s playing XI is in the form of Darwin Nunez, as he will mark a return from a 3-match suspension that he picked against Palace. This might come as a very heavy blow to Lampard, who is working with a short squad currently with a large number of first-team players absent due to injuries.
Yerry Mina, Mason Holgate, Ben Godfrey, Doucoure, Andros Townsend, and Calvert-Lewin will all remain out for the crucial weekend clash. Though the Toffees signed a couple of players on the deadline day, with Gueye marking his return to the Goodison and James Garner signing a permanent deal from Manchester United, it just does not overlook the fact that the Blues might be in a lot of trouble in the near future – barring any miracle comebacks from the injuries of any player.
A 98th-minute Fabio Carvalho winner helped Klopp’s men register back-to-back wins for the first time this season. The dramatic victory saw Liverpool climb massively up the ladder to sixth place, having secured 8 points in 5 games. It is a very mediocre start from the high standards they have set for themselves, and it will not be naïve to think that a club like Liverpool, with the way they have been performing for the last 4-5 years, just cannot keep up like this.
Even in the last game when everyone thought that, “yes! The mighty Reds are back after the Bournemouth riot”, for the majority of the game it felt like Newcastle were just too comfortable attacking and at the same time it seemed as if the Liverpool defence was just letting the opposition forwards to run free in their box.
Injuries and too many absences have played their part, it is true, but now that the players look to mark their return it feels like Jurgen Klopp is trying to do something different with the tactics in play and it is just asking too much out of the players to adapt to. Up until now, it just seems unclear, because for the past 3-4 seasons we are used to witnessing a Liverpool system in which Salah was the key guy, and the Egyptian was seen driving the attack from the wing. But it has not been the case, so far in the season and Salah just seems devoid up front.
Meanwhile, the midfield problem looks like a major lapse in the current Liverpool side, but it seems that the youngsters have stepped up taking the responsibility as Elliott and Fabio Carvalho have literally held their nerves whenever they have been asked to step up in the absence of some of the bigger names. And with the addition of the Brazilian creative midfielder Arthur Melo, it looks as if Klopp might have found the solution for this season’s lack of creativity in the middle of the pitch.
But this might be a tricky fixture as Lampard is already under the threat of losing his job, and a loss against the bitter rivals in front of the home fans would only worsen the situation. Although there is not much the ex-Chelsea man can do with a list of first-team players out due to injuries.
Furthermore, it just feels like Saturday might have come too quick for Lampard and he needs the twelfth man in the thousands of Evertonians who will come to attend the Merseyside clash at Goodison Park. At the same time, I am sure that the English Gaffer will surely tell his players to sit back and let Liverpool do what they must to break the “11-man” defence and just look to exploit the defensive highline of his counterpart German’s Liverpool.
In recent times the Reds’ backline has been exposed for a lot of times, the latest Newcastle game is the perfect spectacle to that. The Magpies had a couple of chances that they were not able to convert. This could be seen and taken in as a confidence booster by the Toffees.
Overall this could be a huge battle between these 2 sides as Everton and Liverpool both try to get back in the top of the pile, the former especially, after having fallen way down the pecking order so early on in the season.
The Colombian is proving to be a serious difference maker for Klopp’s Liverpool this season. After Mane’s departure, the onus was upto Diaz to deliver. And boy has he delivered! In the first 5 league games, the sensational winger has already got 3 goals to his name and the hunger is imminent in his eyes, the hunger to set high goal-scoring standards. He is enjoying every single minute of it and Jurgen Klopp will hope he keeps on doing what he has been doing. Alongside Bobby Firmino, the Columbian x Brazilian combo is saucing up the Reds up front bringing in their South American Sauce!
The 21-year-old has been the standout player in the Everton side as the youngster continues to impress. After Richarlison’s departure, and in Calvert-Lewin’s absence, Gordon has just gracefully embraced the challenge of scoring goals as the leader of Lampard’s squad up front. He could be on the scoresheet again against Liverpool, considering how poor the Reds have been defensively this season, if Lampard’s game plan works helping his side get a crucial result in such a fixture.
Everton predicted lineup vs Liverpool: Pickford; Patterson, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko; McNeil, Davies, Onana, Iwobi, Gordon; Maupay.
Liverpool predicted lineup vs Everton: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Elliott, Fabinho, Carvalho; Salah, Firmino, Diaz.