Liverpool make the short jog across town to take on Everton on Saturday.
Liverpool and Everton will host the first Premier League game after the international break in a match that promises to be a feisty affair.
Everton are in uncharted territory. They come into this game sitting at the top of the table with a three point lead over Liverpool.
However, that could work against them and add more pressure on the shoulders of Carlo Ancelotti’s men. Liverpool, on the other hand, have a point to prove after their 7-2 drubbing at the hands of Aston Villa. What a game to show the rest of the league that they’re back to their best!
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Liverpool have been boosted by some positive news this week. Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mane have both completed their period of self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the month. In addition to that, captain Jordan Henderson has returned for injury and these three slot right into my starting line-up for this game.
Unless Klopp does pull a surprise, then we can expect the Reds to line-up in their lethal 4-3-3 formation. Contrary to most Liverpool fans and pundits, I believe that Klopp will stick with Adrian in goal. The Spaniard had an entire fortnight to work on his errors. Do not be surprised if he starts.
One either side of this colossal defensive pair, we could see the ever present and hardworking full-back duo of Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander Arnold. Given the nature of the game, we can expect Alexander-Arnold to serve up quite a few free-kicks.
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Fantasy premier league players, do take note! Jordan Pickford has looked shaky and there could be some points on offer here.
In midfield we could see Thiago, Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum play together. The work rate of Henderson and Wijnaldum will give Thiago some creative liberty.
The Spaniard will certainly be the focal point of the game for the Reds and we saw how influential he can be with that wonderful performance against CHelsea.
Fun fact, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have never started a Merseyside Derby together. This makes them somewhat of an unknown quantity for the Everton defence and they should all be included in the lineup.
Liverpool’s predicted starting 11 vs Everton (4-3-3): Adrian; Trent, Van Dijk, Fabinho, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Mane, Firmino.
However, if Klopp has taken a peek at my FIFA 21 line-up, we could see see something different. We could see a 4-2-3-1 formation. The back five are the same as above.
However we could see a double pivot of Thiago and Henderson. Diogo Jota starts on the left with Mane partnering him on the right. Salah plays alone at the top and Firmino plays in the hole.
This is certainly an attacking line- up, but might something like this might have to wait. The Premier League is not yet ready for a swift lethal attacking set-up like that, just ask my fellow opponents on FIFA 21.
As for the result, I am predicting a feisty 2-3 win for the Reds.