Whilst the Manchester derby headline Saturday’s Premier League action, Everton and Liverpool kick the day’s action off as they meet in the Merseyside derby.
Liverpool can put pressure on Manchester United by leapfrogging them into second with victory, whilst Everton can edge closer into the race for seventh currently being contested by Burnley and Leicester City.
Everton are missing six players for this clash, including Iceland’s Gylfi Sigurdsson with a knee injury.
Midfielder, Idrissa Gueye is a doubt with a hamstring injury.
Mason Holgate (ankle), Eliaquim Mangala (knee), James McCarthy (broken leg) and Marten Stekelenburg (groin) are all ruled out with no return date.
Defender, Ashley Williams returns from suspension here.
Liverpool could rest Mohamed Salah after the Egyptian picked up a groin injury during midweek against Manchester City.
Left back, Andrew Robertson could be also be rested but Jurgen Klopp has a defensive crisis on his hands.
Nathaniel Clyne (back), Joel Matip (thigh), Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez (ankle) are all sidelined with injuries, meaning that it’s going to be difficult to rotate the back line.
Midfielders, Emre Can (back) and Adam Lallana (thigh) are also ruled out.
Everton have just two wins in their last five but will be confident of getting something here.
Whilst away form has been their Achilles heel in 2018, the Toffees have won four of their six home games this calendar year with both defeats coming against both Manchester clubs.
Cenk Tosun is currently their best player at minute scoring four goals in three of last four games.
Since crashing out of FA Cup at end of January, Liverpool have lost just once of their last eleven in all competitions.
That defeat came away at Old Trafford via an Eric Bailly own goal, but they have scored in every away game of 2018 with four being let in at their end.
In that time, Salah has netted 11 goals to put him in control of this season’s Golden Boot with 29 league goals.
Where can game be won or lost?
|Per Game Average||Everton (home)||Liverpool (away)|
|Shots on Target||3.44||5.44|
|Goals per First Half %||26.9||48.6|
|Goals per Second Half %||73.1||51.4|
Liverpool look like they have every area covered so will be favourites.
One area that might concern Klopp though is that Everton are better at converting their shots on target into goals, having wasted an average of 1.81 goal opportunities compared to Liverpool’s 3.13 chances once on target.
Both teams are equally matched in discipline so expect a lively game but with the Toffees committing more fouls.
Its difficult to predict what will happen because it could well down come down to what sort of Liverpool team is put on the pitch.
If Salah plays then will be a comfortable away win but I am going to plump for a draw here because of the uncertainty surrounding how Liverpool will approach this.
Prediction: Everton 1-1 Liverpool
Jake predicts: Everton 1-3 Liverpool
Result: Everton 0-0 Liverpool
Here at Sport Grill, me and Middlesbrough FC writer, Jake Self are going head to head predicting this season’s Premier League games.
This is how things stand after the previous round of games along with the rules.
Correct score – 3 points
Correct result – 1 point
Incorrect result – 0 points