Merseyside Derby arrives at a crucial juncture in Everton’s season. Three wins in first five under new manager Rafa Benitez gave the Everton faithful much to look forward to for the rest of the season. But, since then, injuries to key personnel have had a massive impact on their results, with the Blues currently winless in seven. The Spaniard, much to his annoyance, has had to chop and change frequently while during this period. Full-time boos from the away end after the Brentford loss means Benitez finds himself under increasing pressure.
Everton Form: LLDLL
Everton League Position: 14
Liverpool’s previous visit to Goodison was one to forget for Jurgen Klopp and co. The game ended a draw, but an ACL injury to star centre-half Virgil Van Dijk and a significant knock to Thiago would mark the beginning of an injury crisis for Liverpool that would go on to have a massive impact on the rest of their season. Wednesday would bring the opportunity to exorcise a few of those memories.
Liverpool Form: WWLDW
Man City League Position: 3
No fresh injuries for the Blues, according to Benitez. Richarlison will be back after serving a one-match suspension for racking up five yellow cards. Demarai Gray, who has had a good start to his Everton career, was back on the bench against Brentford so expect him to go right into the starting lineup. Benitez has confirmed midfielder Andre Gomes is back in training and is in contention to start. Yerry Mina, Calvert-Lewin and Davies remain out.
Games are coming thick and fast during the festive period and Liverpool’s commitments in Europe means there is every chance Klopp could ring in the changes on Wednesday. No fresh injury concerns ahead of the Everton game but midfielders Naby Keita, Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones remain out. Forward Firmino will need another week to get back to training, according to Klopp.
EVERTON (4-4-1-1): Pickford, Digne, Godfrey, Keane, Coleman, Iwobi, Allan, Doucouré, Townsend, Gray, Richarlison