It is going to be a cracker as Everton host Liverpool at the Goodison Park in the final Premier League match before Xmas and the first Merseyside derby of the season. Both teams come into the match on the back of wins from their previous respective matches with Liverpool in the second place and Everton sitting in the eight position.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be expecting a win from his side in his first visit to the Goodison Park. The corresponding fixture under Brendan Rodgers ended 1-1 but this is a much changed Liverpool team and their form this season has made them look like a title contender again.
Though they are currently second, the timing of the match which is on Monday means they may start the match in the third place with Man City and Arsenal which are both directly below them facing each other on Sunday.
The Reds returned to winning ways after the defeat to Bournemouth and draw with West Ham. Klopp’s men defeated Middlesbrough 3-0 on Wednesday, their first in 14 years.
Everton too will be beaming with confidence after their victory over
Arsenal in the midweek to end a five-match winless streak. The Toffees have had a mixed season, winning just two of their last 11 games. However, the Ronald Koeman’s side have garnered 11 points from losing positions, having scored a goal in the final minutes in four of their last five league matches and changing the results in three of those.
With Phil Jageilka suspended due to the red card he received during the Arsenal match, the Toffees defence will have to be at their best to curtail the league top scorer. Everton have kept only one clean sheet in their last 13 matches in all competitions but they can boast of their home record as they are yet to lose at Goodison this season.
However, despite the high scoring rate of the Reds, their defence have been their undoing. They have conceded more goals in the top six but have kept clean in three of their last five league games.
Simon Mignolet will continue in goal with Loris Karius being dropped while Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho remain sidelined. Klopp will be hoping Divock Origi is fit enough for the match. The Belgian forward picked up a knock on Wednesday. He has scored in each of his last five games. Joel Matip is also expected to start in defence for the Reds.