PREVIEW: EVERTON V LIVERPOOL

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How can you not be in love with this game. After one of the great Anfield nights against City, there is nothing like a Merseyside derby to keep the momentum going. Klopp’s mad reds make the one mile journey across Stanley Park to take on the Blue bits of Liverpool.

Everton come into this game off the back of being swept aside by champions elect Manchester City in their previous fixture. Sam Allardyce bizarrely thought Rooney could operate in a double pivot with Schneiderlin against one of the best midfields the league has ever seen. The fixture was over as a contest by the 12th minute. You would think Allardyce will not be as naive in the derby.

DXmXRXYW0AAR1ATWill Salah be available to lead the LFC attack in the derby or should he be rested?    (Source: @EmpreOfTheKop) 

The Toffees do have a chance though. It is reasonable to suggest that after Liverpool’s big effort and result in midweek, which gives them a “distraction” this coming week in Champions League and Chelsea barely hanging on in the race for a top four spot, there could be a gap for Everton to exploit, especially at home. This is also the final fixture of any meaning for them. They are comfortable in mid-table, 12 points off relegation in 9th place. They are also six and three points off Burnley and Leicester having played a game more, so possibly sneaking the last Europa League spot is also unlikely. Tomorrow is all they have left. So expect them to come all guns blazing.

Tosun, Bolasie and Walcott have shown bits of quality since coming into the squad this year, but Allardyce’s tactics makes it difficult for them to flourish beyond their current level. But if they try a cavalier attitude in attack they will expose the ageing legs of Rooney, Jagielka and Baines in defense. If they experience any joy in attack it will be through set-pieces and knocking the Reds off their stride, it is their only hope.   

Solanke-IngsDom Solanke or Danny Ings could fill in as Klopp looks to rotate, who will get the nod?    (Source: Daily Mirror) 

Liverpool, have a bit of a dilemma. After the exploits of Wednesday and a bit of an injury crisis, Klopp has to make a value judgement with his selection. Lallana, Gomez, Matip are not fit and Klavan has not played in months, leaving Van Dijk and Lovren the only fit senior centre backs. Salah pulled a groin muscle an hour into the game in midweek. Emre Can has gone from maybe missing the fixture against City to rumored to being out for the season. The Champions League tie is almost secured but so is the top four place and does that even matter in Klopp’s selections. Another factor to remember is that Everton scraped a result against Liverpool after Klopp rested key players in the league tie at Anfield. A game Liverpool should have won easily. So is it fair to say that big changes could still work for Liverpool and maybe then in turn not be such a big risk.

One can see Solanke or Ings coming in for Salah, Gini coming in for Ox or Milner, Clyne and Moreno coming in at the two fullback places. Ultimately, Klopp and his team has done such a fantastic job rotating and picking different horses for different courses that who ever pitches up on Saturday, we can say with confidence that Klopp will have the 11 and strategy to get a result against Everton.

DaGlfnjVwAMWl22The boss has some tinkering to do, but really, there is no one better would we trust with the task. (Source: @LFC)

This is an Everton side who at its core is not a very good side. Allardyce’s tactics are generally negative and this is a Liverpool side, who you cannot allow to just play. The Red’s need to pitch up mentally, keep their heads during the 90 minutes and play their game. If they do so, their quality will show and the one mile trip back across Stanley Park will include having to carry three more points.

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