Premier League and Championship sides enter the FA Cup this weekend and already a fierce derby has been thrown into the mix. Liverpool and Everton will face off in a battle to reach the fourth round of the tournament.
Liverpool will be hoping to add the FA Cup to a likely first Premier League title this season. The Reds have so far this season looked untouchable in the league and sit atop the pile, holding a ten-point lead over second place Leicester.
With two games in hand and wins in all but one league game, the Reds look like they will finally end their league title drought of over 30 years. However, the added pressure of the FA Cup could affect the squad.
Everton meanwhile have been the surprise story of the Premier League this season dwelling in or around the bottom three until recently. With the recent appointment of three-time Champions League-winning manager Carlo Ancelotti, Everton’s form has dramatically improved. The Toffees have won two of their first three games under the Italian.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 5th January|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||16:01 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Anfield|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BBC1|
Liverpool remain without key figures Joel Matip and Fabinho. Matip is out with the knee injury which has kept him sidelined since October while Fabinho is still suffering from a ligament injury with no return date set yet.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also struggling with an ankle injury while new signing Takumi Minamino is unlikely to make his Anfield debut as he is dealing with a thigh injury.
Everton are still without summer signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin who has been out since August with a hamstring injury but is edging closer to full fitness. André Gomes is a long-term absentee with a broken ankle while Alex Iwobi is still struggling with a hamstring injury.
|Liverpool||Adrian; Arnold, Van Dijk, Gomes; Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita; Mané, Firmino; Salah.|
|Everton||Pickford; Coleman, Mina, Holgate, Sidibe; Digne, Davies; Delph, Sigurdsson, Richarlison; Kean.|
These two sides have met an incredible 285 times in all competitions with Liverpool coming out on top 120 times compared to Everton’s 82. In recent years, Everton have struggled heavily with this fixture and haven’t beaten the Reds since 2010.
In the last five meetings, Liverpool have won three times including last month’s 5-2 thumping at Anfield in the league. Last season saw Liverpool win 1-0 at home in a tightly contested match before a boring 0-0 draw at Goodison Park.
Liverpool have been in spectacular form with 18 wins and a single draw all season in the league. They have recently returned from Qatar having won the Club World Cup and followed that up with a 4-0 hammering of Leicester and a narrow 1-0 win against Wolves. They were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Aston Villa after fielding a team mostly made up of youth players the night before the CWC success.
Everton meanwhile have managed a huge upturn in their fortunes with the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti. The Blues have managed two wins and a draw from their last five games. Back to back victories against Burnley and Newcastle has seen them move away from the drop zone but they did suffer a 2-1 defeat away at Manchester City on the weekend.
|Liverpool 2-0 Sheffield United (2/1)||Man City 2-1 Everton (1/1)|
|Liverpool 1-0 Wolves (29/12)||Newcastle 1-2 Everton (28/12)|
|Leicester City 0-4 Liverpool (26/12)||Everton 1-0 Burnley (26/12)|
|Liverpool 1-0 Flamengo (21/12)||Everton 0-0 Arsenal (21/12)|
|Monterrey 1-2 Liverpool (18/12)||Everton 2-2 Leicester City (2-4 pens) (18/12)|
This game will prove to be a much tighter affair than when the sides met last month but Liverpool will be too strong for Everton. The Liverpool front three is far superior to Everton’s and will still find a way to cause problems. Defensively, although Everton are always a threat, Van Dijk and Gomes at the back will have enough to see them through into the fourth round.
Liverpool 2-0 Everton