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There won’t have been a better time in the last few years for Everton to take on their local rivals in the League, with Liverpool looking a shadow of their former selves and are a full 30 points worse off than they were at this stage last season.
While we wouldn’t expect them to have maintained those incredible standards, their drop-off has been staggering in the absence of Virgil van Dijk as they’ve now lost three matches on the bounce, and although they beat Leipzig on neutral turf midweek to get back to winning ways, they still didn’t look anywhere near their brilliant best in that first leg and the Toffees will be sensing they can get something here.
Everton need a victory themselves having also gone three games without a win, and three points here would take them level on points with the Reds, as if the incentive to win wasn’t already enough.
The visitors’ chances will rest heavily on the availability of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, a point made prior to their match with Man City where the striker was touch-and-go to be fit, and they ended up struggling without him.
Although he’s only missed four matches under Carlo Ancelotti, their points per game more than doubles when he’s in the starting line-up as he provides a focal point for their attack and is prolific when offered up the opportunities. Ancelotti has implied he availability here, so we’ll assume that he’ll start from the off.
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Everton To Beat Liverpool
History is not on the visitors’ side here as although they’ve drawn the last four meetings at Goodison Park, they’ve failed to win at Anfield in any of the 23 matches they’ve played this century across all competitions.
Their best chance came last year when Jurgen Klopp effectively fielded a second-string side in the FA Cup, only for Curtis Jones’ stunning effort to take the spoils mid-way through the second half.
However, there’s every reason for Everton fans to be hopeful about this fixture. Liverpool’s 68 match unbeaten run at home has come to an end in spectacular fashion, with three consecutive defeats.
The lack of crowd has certainly played it’s part in that, and with it being well documented that away teams have been more successful than ever this season, we’re happy to get behind Everton getting a result.
62% of the Toffees points this season have come on the road as they’ve won four of their five unbeaten away matches against teams currently in the top-12 in the table.
While they’ve now lost two on the bounce, the return of their number nine gives us enough incentive to get behind them at an extremely long price.