Everton players

The Premier League returns from the International break as the Champions take in a trip to Goodison Park for a most difficult test despite the absence of fans for the spectacle. This particular fixture precedes the Derby weekend in Italy later on Saturday

Everton fans are desperate to match Liverpool in a derby game having gone winless in 22 outings against the Reds since 2010. This season sees as even a contest as perhaps in decades, with the league leaders hosting the defending Champions in the first Merseyside Derby of 2020/21.

The Blues are the only team to have won all four Premier League games this season and face a Liverpool side embarrassed 7-2 by Aston Villa last time out. The thrashing would have pleased the Toffees faithful but it denies the Evertonians a storied top-of-the-table Derby against the Champions.

Liverpool players
Liverpool shell-shocked during the defeat to Aston Villa.

Everton’s 100% record in all competitions owes much to Carlo Ancelotti masterminding a turnaround for his team over the summer. The Italian finally has his trademark 4-3-3 set up well-polished.

Betway Nigeria

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his imperious form with a debut goal for the England national team taking him to 10 goals in eight games for club and country already.

James Rodríguez has taken on the creative responsibility since joining Everton, and his preference to drift infield from the right and find passes or shots with that sweet left foot will undoubtedly worry Liverpool’s backline; fellow impressive new signings Allan and Abdoulaye Doucouré are both capable of stifling and breaking Liverpool’s workmanlike midfield. 

The threat of Calvert-Lewin’s ever-improving one-touch finishing only adds to Liverpool’s defensive angst amidst the flurry of crossing from the fullbacks.

Alisson Becker
Liverpool’s defensive worries are compounded by Goalkeeper Alisson’s absence. (Getty Images)

Liverpool have been boosted by Sadio Mané and Thiago returning from Coronavirus isolation as Joël Matip also returns from injury. The key for Jürgen Klopp, then, might well be in his returning players after the crushing defeat at Villa Park a fortnight ago.

The Reds were brutally exposed in the Midlands as Jack Grealish, Ross Barkley and Ollie Watkins targeted the left and exposed Liverpool’s high defensive line. Klopp would be looking to bring Fabinho or Matip to partner Virgil van Dijk whilst Thiago moves into midfield to try and dictate the tempo.

Further forward, the ingenuity of Mané was badly missed and he is a keen Derby goalscorer with three for Liverpool.

This often one-sided fixture bears so much significance now, with Everton supremely confident of taking their first derby win exactly 10 years to the day. A home win will birth belief of Everton’s genuine top-four credentials.

For Liverpool, it’s a unique challenge as Premier League Champions to either rise to the occasion, or ensure this season’s title conversation remains on Merseyside at least.


Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog Meets Brand