Domestic football returns with a BANG this weekend, with a number of high-profile fixtures including the Old Firm and the Milan derby. However, in the Premier League, a huge weekend of action begins with the Merseyside derby.
It has been a while since Everton last won a Merseyside derby, however Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be confident going into the weekend with seven wins from seven matches in all competitions this season.
Whilst we’re on the number seven… Liverpool will still be hurting following a heavy 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa last time out.
An influx of quality signings over the summer has given Everton a new identity, and the likes of Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez have all had an instant impact at Goodison Park.
The Toffees sit top of the Premier League table, and go into a derby as the top side in the country for the first time since 1989 this Saturday.
Ancelotti’s Blues have already made history this season; winning their opening seven games of a season for the first time since 1895 and if they beat Liverpool this weekend, they’ll have won their opening five league games for the first time since 1938.
However, Everton will be entirely aware of the challenge facing them at Goodison this weekend. Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League champions are on a run of 22 matches unbeaten against their neighbours, 11 of these games coming under the German’s stewardship.
The Reds’ recent mauling at Villa Park could have been dismissed as another post-lockdown anomaly, but Everton are meeting Liverpool at a good time.
Klopp has a number of concerns going into Saturday’s game, most notably with goalkeeper Alisson left in the treatment room. However, it will be his side’s downturn in form that will be charismatic coaches’ biggest worry.
Liverpool have lost four of their last eight away games in the Premier League – they only lost as many as four in their previous 46 trips in the top-flight. They have lost as many times in the Premier League this year as they did in 2018 and 2019 combined.
On a positive note, Liverpool have not lost consecutive games in the Premier League since 2015. They usually bounce back to form quickly. This weekend, they will need to.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the most prolific striker across Europe’s elite leagues this season. The former Sheffield United forward has scored nine goals in six games for Everton this season, and also opened his international account with England recently.
Calvert-Lewin will have to end a run of six hours and 45 minutes since his side last registered a goal against Liverpool at Goodison Park, but if he does he will become the first Everton player to score in his opening five league games since Tommy Lawton did so in 1938.
Carlo Ancelotti has an impressive record against Liverpool, and the time could well be right to further improve his reputation on the blue side of Stanley Park.
Could Everton finally celebrate a derby win, some ten years to the day since they last held the bragging rights over their esteemed neighbours.