Liverpool vs Everton key talking points as Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti go head-to-head in a tie with HUGE Champions League implications… while Dominic Calvert-Lewin is ruled fit to play
- Champions Liverpool host Everton on Saturday in a key battle for the top-four
- The Reds will look to kick on after an impressive midweek win over RB Leipzig
- Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be fit to start
- Liverpool will be without Fabinho but Klopp has confirmed Alisson will play
Liverpool welcome Everton to Anfield on Saturday evening in perhaps the most important fixture of the season for both clubs to date.
It was only in December that the pair sat top of the Premier League after 15 games, with Liverpool in first place with 32 points and Everton in second with 29.
The table looks vastly different for both clubs now, as Liverpool have dropped all the way down to sixth place, while Everton are a position below and three points behind, albeit with a game in hand.
Crucially, both clubs are now all-but out of the title race, with defending champions Liverpool a jaw-dropping 16 points behind leaders Manchester City, who remarkably were down in sixth place when the two Merseyside clubs were perched at the top of the table.
Liverpool are going strong in the Champions League, however, having earned an impressive 2-0 away win at RB Leipzig on Tuesday, though a top-four spot will now be the domestic priority for both clubs.
In a game that often promises more than it delivers, the reverse fixture was an uncharacteristically goal-laden affair, with Richarlison handed a dramatic late red card in a highly entertaining 2-2 draw, one that kept Everton at the top of the table after five games.
With the intriguing match-up looming, Sportsmail takes you through the talking points and the important information you need to know.
Jurgen Klopp (L) and Carlo Ancelotti (R) are both in desperate need of a Premier League win
Jurgen Klopp vs Carlo Ancelotti
Saturday’s derby is undoubtedly one of the most unpredictable in recent times, with a win for either side not out of the question.
While much of that goes down to the recent decline in results for Liverpool, it is also because of the terrific job Ancelotti is doing at Goodison Park.
The veteran coach has transformed Everton into a genuine top-seven contending side, who will have serious European ambitions this season.
What is perhaps remarkable is the records of the two great managers when playing each other, which has happened on nine occasions, with the prolific pair carrying an identical record of three wins, three draws and three losses each.
However, while both managers have been highly successful while in charge of their respective clubs, neither will be pleased with how they are playing of late – particularly in defence.
Everton have conceded more Premier League goals than any other side in the top 10 this season with 33, while Liverpool are next in line having let in just one less at 32.
And with Dominic Calvert-Lewin fit for Everton, while Fabinho is out injured, it’s certainly an area Everton will look to exploit.
However, with Mohamed Salah flying in front of goal, Ancelotti will not want to leave a shaky back-line exposed.
You’d expect there to be goals in a fiery affair on Saturday, but it will also be intriguing to see the tactics each manager deploys given their recent form.
Allison vs Pickford
Alisson made another costly error against Leicester to add to his Manchester City double
Jordan Pickford has come under significant criticism of late after making a number of mistakes
While both Liverpool and Everton have looked vulnerable at the back of late, their defenders cannot be to blame for some of the shocking mistakes both Alisson and Jordan Pickford have made.
Alisson, who is typically an assured pair of hands, made two catastrophic errors that all-but handed Manchester City victory in their recent clash, before committing another inexpiable howler against Leicester.
The Brazilian isn’t alone in this department, with Pickford making a number of mistakes this season, including in Everton’s recent defeat to City, where the England No1 should have done better against Bernado Silva’s long-range strike.
With Liverpool’s defensive options cut significantly short, and with an Everton side that is already leaking goals to be without Yerry Mina, neither goalkeeper can afford to make such errors on Saturday.
One thing for sure, however, is that the spotlight will be on both.
Liverpool vs Everton: Team news
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been in fine form this season, scoring 13 Premier League goals
Liverpool have been dealt a blow with Jurgen Klopp confirming Fabinho – who missed their last two games against RB Leipzig and Leicester – will once again be absent against Everton.
Fabinho has become an integral component of Liverpool’s defence this season amidst a genuine injury crisis at the back.
Elsewhere, Klopp has also confirmed that neither James Milner or Diogo Jota will be fit to play, while Vigril Van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez all remain out.
There is some good news for Liverpool, however, as Naby Keita is in line to return to the squad.
As for Everton, they have been handed a major boost with Carlo Ancelotti confirming star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be fit enough to start.
Midfield general Allan will also be available for the Toffees, but centre-back Yerry Mina will out for three to four weeks due to a calf injury sustained against Manchester City.
Liverpool vs Everton: The key stats
League position: 6th
Top league scorer: Salah (17)
Most league assists: Firmino (5)
Goals scored: 45
Goals conceded: 32
Last six league matches: 2W, 0D, 4L
Clean sheets: 6
League position: 7th
Top league scorer: Calvert-Lewin (13)
Most league assists: Digne (6)
Goals scored: 35
Goals conceded: 33
Last six league matches: 1W, 2D, 3L
Clean sheets: 4
Liverpool vs Everton: How to watch
Liverpool’s crucial encounter with Everton – which kicks off at 5.30pm on Saturday, February 14 – will be shown live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event.
Sky Sports subscribers can also watch the game online by streaming it on Sky Go.
Viewers can also buy Sky Sports day pass from NowTV for £9.99, with a month pass at £33.99.
Liverpool vs Everton: The odds
Despite Liverpool’s drastic drop in form of late, they still come into Saturday’s derby as significant favourites.
Klopp’s men are favoured at 1/2 to win, while Everton are the underdogs at 11/2, with a draw at 7/2.
Unsurprisingly, the Premier League’s most prolific forward this season Mohamed Salah is the favourite to score first at 11/4, while Calvert-Lewin is Everton’s top choice at 7/1.
*Odds courtesy of Betfair and correct at the time of publication.