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Everton host neighbours Liverpool at Goodison Park on Saturday for the first Merseyside Derby of the 2022/23 Premier League season.
The Toffees are winless after their opening five league games, while Liverpool scraped a 98th minute win over Newcastle last time out and now sit in sixth place after a stuttering start to the season.
The Merseyside derby has seen more red cards than any other fixture, a total of 22 during the Premier League era, so expect a feisty affair in the so called ‘Friendly Derby’.
Everton have continued this campaign very much where they left off. The 17th placed side have been missing an out-and-out striker due to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s prolonged absence, although Frank Lampard will be hoping new signing Neal Maupay, who scored eight goals in 32 appearances for Brighton during the 2021/22 season, can hit the ground running.
After losing their opening two Premier League games, the Toffees have gone on to record three successive 1-1 draws against Nottingham Forest, Brentford and Leeds – the last time they drew four in a row was in October/November 2012 (which included a 2-2 home draw with Liverpool).
Three points out of a possible 15 will no doubt leave the blue half of Merseyside worrying that another relegation battle could be on the cards, although a rare win over neighbours Liverpool would go a long way in allaying some of those fears.
Draws have been a popular result in Merseyside derbies contested at Goodison, a result Frank Lampard would probably take considering he has lost all four Premier League meetings with Jurgen Klopp, where his sides have conceded at least two goals each time.
The Toffees are however averaging five shots on target per game in the Premier League this season, their highest since the 2016/17 campaign and up from their average of 3.6 last term.
Everton have won just one of their last 23 league meetings with the Reds (D12, L10), a rare victory at Anfield as former manager Carlo Ancelotti orchestrated a 2-0 victory.
Everton have been shown 10 red cards against Liverpool in the Premier League at Goodison Park, at least six more than they’ve had against any other side and Lampard will need to urge a degree of caution going into the clash.
The Toffees brought in a total of eight new faces during the summer transfer window, including two on deadline day:
Idrissa Gueye (re-signed from PSG):
James Garner (signed from Man Utd):
In terms of absentees, the Toffees will be without several players including Calvert-Lewin, Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Mason Holgate and Andros Townsend.
Everton Predicted Team:
Pickford; Patterson, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko; McNeil, Gueye, Onana, Iwobi, Gordon; Maupay
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Kick-Off – 14:30
Stadium – Goodison Park
Liverpool, like their opponents, have looked less than convincing during the new season. This is in part due to a buildup of injuries as well as producing performance levels lower than we have become so accustomed to in recent years.
Back-to-back wins and 11 goals in the Reds’ past two games however have provided a timely reminder of the previously quadruple chasing side's abilities.
Those past two wins couldn’t have been any more different in terms of how the games played out. A record equalling 9-0 victory over Bournemouth was followed up by a last-gasp 2-1 victory courtesy of Fabio Carvalho’s 98th minute winner.
A recent trend the Reds will be hoping to correct against the Toffees is conceding first in games (conceded first in 8 of last 9 in PL matches), as they were once again required to come back from a goal down against Newcastle after record signing Alexander Isak opened the scoring.
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League away games against Everton (W3, D8). Jurgen Klopp will be urging his side to make it a trio of consecutive wins and put their slow start, draws to Fulham and Palace and a loss to rivals Man United, firmly in the rearview mirror.
As for Liverpool’s highest paid player Mohamed Salah, four of his Premier league goals for Liverpool against Everton have come at Goodison Park. Only Michael Owen (4) has scored more away goals for the Reds against the Toffees.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has been ruled out of the Merseyside derby due to a hamstring injury. It also appears too soon for new signing Arthur Melo to be called into action following his deadline day loan move from Juventus due to international clearance, as confirmed by Klopp in Friday's pre-match press conference.
Midfield options are limited for Klopp, with Thiago Alacantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita all unavailable. Ibrahima Konate and Calvin Ramsay also remain sidelined, while Diogo Jota could make the squad.
Darwin Nunez is available following his three-match suspension for headbutting Joachim Andersen, though Klopp may be reluctant to throw the Uruguayan into a hostile Goodison atmosphere.
Liverpool Predicted Team:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Elliott, Fabinho, Carvalho; Salah, Firmino, Diaz
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