English Premier League. Week 17
December 19, 20:00 UTC
Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool, England
Referee: Mike Dean
The Merseyide derby has always been and will always be one of the central clashes of the week. Even Manchester City vs Arsenal game cannot put a shade on this historic opposition. You do not need information on the standings and forms of these teams to get motivated of watching the game… but that information is always in handy before a Big Clash.
Everton have had one of the worst seasons in the latest years. They have won only two of the last ten games in all competitions, have lost four and drawn four games. However, the latest game against Arsenal turned out to be a come-back win (2-1) which might have encouraged the Ronald Koeman side to aim for the bigger. Moreover, Everton’s unsatisfactory performance is mostly visible in the away games, while they are undefeated in the last 11 home matches.
Liverpool, on the other hand, are having one of the most stable seasons lately, as the fans are starting to recognize Jurgen Klopp’s signature on the Reds performance. After all the other games of week 17 are played Liverpool are residing on the third position in the league table, but Arsenal’s second loss on a row let the Merseyside club have hopes for settling right below the league head. Liverpool are undefeated in 13 of their last 14 games in the Premier League and hope to keep the stable performance up.
As expected, the head-to-head statistics are skewed towards Liverpool wins. Everton managed to win only once in the last 20(!) Liverpool games. Ten clashes were drawn with nine losses accompanying them. However, Goodison Park magic seems to work in here too. Only one home game out of last six was lost, another one won. The last four home game against Liverpool Everton managed to make draws.
Everton will have several main players off squad for the Merseyside derby. The center-back Matthew Pennington and defensive midfielder Muhamed Besic are injured which alongside with suspended Phil Jagielka (center-back) create headache for Everton manager Ronald Koeman in forming the defensive center of the team. By the way, Phil Jagielka is suspended after being sent-off during the Arsenal clash (2-1) last week. Winger Yannick Bolasie is also injured and will not be available for the Merseyside derby.
Liverpool, on the other hand, are also having a couple of squad problems, but Klopp has already dealt with those injuries as they seem to have a long-term nature. This way, winger Phillipe Coutinho (out until the end of the month) and attacker Danny Ings (out till the end of the season) are still unavailable for Klopp. Some other players’ fitness is yet under a question mark. The list of the ‘doubtful’ players counts for forward Divock Origi, midfielder Emre Can and striker Daniel Sturridge.
Everton (4-3-3) vs Liverpool (4-3-3)