Everton host Liverpool in arguably the most eagerly-awaited Merseyside derby in years. We take a look at what to expect and why Jurgen Klopp’s side might not have things all their own way.
Everton v Liverpool
Saturday October 17
Kick-off 1230 BST
Live on BT Sport 1
Everton come into Saturday’s 237th Merseyside derby top of the embryonic Premier League table and thus above fifth-placed Liverpool – a rarity in the 21st Century.
However, they’ve looked the form team coming into several other matches with their old rivals in recent years only to freeze – there’s a definite feeling in the city that Liverpool now have a psychological hold over their arch rivals.
That’s built and built over the past decade. Liverpool have not lost to Everton in the last 22 derbies – the longest unbeaten run in the fixture’s 126-year history.
The Toffees’ last win came in 2010 – two days after John W Henry completed his takeover of the Anfield club – with Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta the goalscorers that day.
However, Everton themselves have been hard to beat at Goodison Park in recent years. Seven of the last eight games on the blue side of Stanley Park have been drawn. The last three have all ended goalless.
Why we can expect goals
No team has scored more Premier League goals so far this season than Everton, who have found the net 12 times in four games.
Only West Brom have conceded more than Liverpool’s 11 – that’s largely down to the seven they shipped at Aston Villa prior to the international break. With Alisson’s injury set to keep him out again, Adrian is set to keep his place in the side despite his miserable experience at Villa Park.
At the other end, Liverpool have been raining shots on the opponents’ goal – their shot count of 72 is league-leading. They’ve scored 11 times.
Other early-season trends include early goals in both sides’ matches. Everton’s last three games have all seen three goals in the first half, while three of Liverpool’s four matches have featured at least three goals before the break.
With clear attacking strengths in the two teams but question marks surrounding the defences, it’s probably no surprise to learn than both teams have scored in six of the sides’ combined eight matches this season.
Player focus: Calvert-Lewin v Mo Salah
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s flying start to the season sees him joint top of the Premier League scorers’ list with six. That is exactly half of his team’s goals in the competition. Overall, he has 10 goals in eight games for club and country.
The new England international has also had more shots on target than any other Premier League player – nine.
Liverpool’s Mo Salah is only one goal off Calvert-Lewin’s pace – he has netted five of Liverpool’s 11 goals so far. Only Harry Kane has taken more shots than Salah (16) so far.
You’re probably aware by now that the rejigging of the handball law has led to an increase in Premier League penalties this season – the running total is 25 in just 38 games so far.
Merseyside derby referee Michael Oliver is responsible for seven of them (in just four matches).
As long as he’s still on the pitch, Salah will be on spot-kick duty for Liverpool and he’s scored his last nine Premier League penalties.
Richarlison is the man in possession for Everton in terms of penalties – he scored at Crystal Palace last month – but if he’s not fit after injury, the baton may well be passed to the in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin with Gylfi Sigurdsson being an unlikely starter.
More red cards have been shown in this fixture than any other in Premier League history, although things have calmed down in recent seasons.
The last derby dismissal was in April 2016 since when there have been 10 games between the pair without a red card (eight in the league).
Of those 10 matches, only one has seen more than four cards issued.
Under 4.5 cards – will appear here
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