Liverpool and Everton play in the second game of today – despite what a certain TV channel would have you believe, as they’re making out that there’s only the two derby games today – at Anfield, with the game kicking off at 2:15pm. Liverpool are 4th at the moment, and are unbeaten in their last six league games. Everton are 10th (I got a bit of a shock there when I looked at the table and realised they’re so high) after winning their last two league games against Huddersfield and West Ham. It just goes to show how tight it is in the bottom half of the table that two wins in a row can lift you so high.
Liverpool have won their last two – against Brighton and Stoke – and are unbeaten in six. After Chelsea lost to West Ham yesterday, a Liverpool win would move them ahead of the Blues and into 3rd on goal difference. They would only be three points behind Man United in second then, but that would depend on United’s result against City in the late kick off. Liverpool have looked so strong lately, and their ‘Fab Four’ up front is a worry for any side. Everton will have real difficulty defending against the threat of Coutinho, Mane, Salah and Firmino today, and coming up with a way to stop them is going to be really difficult.
There’s no doubt about the quality of Everton, they were just on a negative run. No results, no confidence.
If Everton aren’t a top six team, they are a top seven team usually. I’ve watched their last four games and they are in a good moment, gaining confidence.
Sam Allardyce is one of the most experienced managers in the Premier League. I will have played him at three different clubs and I’ve only been here two years. At each club he has been very successful and has done the job.
After Everton’s shocking start to the season under Ronald Koeman – which didn’t get much better under David Unsworth – they have done much better in the last few weeks since it was announced that Sam Allardyce would take over. They’ve won their last two league games – a 2-0 win at home against Huddersfield and a 4-0 home win against West Ham – and have climbed all the way up to 10th. A win today wouldn’t see them go any higher, but it would help them gain a lot more confidence. Allardyce’s sides are always strong at the back, but they’re going to have to be amazing if they want to keep out Liverpool’s attack today. The threat they pose going forward is a worry for any team, and it’ll be a real test for Everton today. I’d imagine they’ll sit back and try to soak up the pressure Liverpool put on them, but you’d imagine they’ll have to score because it would be a surprise if they kept a clean sheet.
He [Jurgen Klopp] shouldn’t be too worried about me the way his team is playing at the moment.
If I was sat in his position with the players that he’s got, it’s a wonderful situation.
I haven’t had the time to go the lengths and depths I’ve gone to with the other teams I’ve had. And of course I’ve got a completely different set of players here.
It will all be about those players taking on board the information that we give them without taking away their responsibility to make the right decisions at the right times.
It’ll be interesting to see how this one goes, but I can’t see anything other than a Liverpool win today. Everton haven’t won at Anfield in the league since 1999, and that shows just how big of a job they have on their hands. They could come up with an upset, but I’ll be really surprised if they do.
The team news will be out for that one at 1:15pm, so that’ll be up here as well. Enjoy the game, it should be a good one.