One of the standout ties in this season’s the third round of the FA Cup is a Merseyside derby, as current Premier League leaders, Liverpool, welcome their near neighbours, Everton to Anfield with game kicking off at 4.01pm.
This will be the 286th Merseyside derby between the two clubs and of the previous 285 meetings since the sides first faced each other in 1894, Liverpool have won 120 times, there have been 83 draws with Everton winning 82 times.
Liverpool success when the teams last met
Liverpool have already hosted Everton at Anfield this season in a Premier League game at the start of December. The Reds won 5-2 thanks to goals from Divock Origi (2), Xherdan Shaqiri, Sadio Mane, and Georginio Wijnaldum, whilst Everton replied through Michael Keane and Richarlison. Since then the Toffees have sacked Marco Silva and replaced him with the experienced Carlo Ancelotti, so expect a very different Everton team this time.
Liverpool have a commanding thirteen-point lead at the top of the Premier League and are now unbeaten at home in 51 games after a 2-0 success over Sheffield United in midweek.
Everton have been struggling for form in the EPL and currently sit eleventh in the league, winning just seven of their opening 21 games. Since appointing Ancelotti, they have won two of their last three games, beating Burnley 1-0 at Goodison Park before a 2-1 success at Newcastle. However, they slipped to defeat at Manchester City on New Years Day, going down 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
Everton have not beaten Liverpool since October 2010 when winning 2-0 at Goodison Park in the Premier League and have not won at Anfield in all competitions since a 1-0 EPL win in September 1999. In the last decade the clubs have met three times in the FA Cup including two years ago when they met at the same stage of the competition at Anfield – Liverpool progressed as 2-1 winners thanks to goals from James Milner and a late Virgil van Dijk effort – Gylfi Sigurdsson scored for the visitors.
Liverpool have now won the last five meetings of the clubs at Anfield, scoring 15 goals in the process so they are averaging three goals per game at home against Everton, who in response have scored just four times in their last five visits across Stanley Park.
Jurgen Klopp might be tempted to rest a number of his first team player’s as they pursue a first Premier League title, especially after facing a gruelling Christmas schedule which also included a trip to Doha to play in the World Club Championship. They won that tournament to become World Champions to add to their European Champions crown.
Under the new management of Carlo Ancelotti, Everton are likely to field a strong team as the Italian continues to find out about his players. Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been in excellent scoring form of late, scoring three in his last three games, and will carry the main threat for the visitors alongside Richarlison who was on target in their 2-1 defeat at Manchester City on New Years Day.
Liverpool have a few injuries to contend with too, which might not allow them to rest as many key players as they would have hoped to, but we still don’t expect the likes of Sadio Mane or Mo Salah to start. Divok Origi, Adam Lallana and 16-year old Harvey Elliott should all play a part, as could new signing Takumi Minamino.
Can Everton spring a surprise?
Neither side will want a replay, but this is where the game might be heading. If not, we see an upset on the cards and Everton pinching a famous win at Anfield with Calvert-Lewin the hero.
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