Liverpool are heading into a hugely important match this weekend as they look to get their form back onto winning ways. The Reds were dealt a hard-hitting blow after Aston Villa cleaned up on home soil, scoring a whopping seven goals against the reigning champions.
This achievement now makes Liverpool the first holding top-flight winners to ship seven since 1953, when Arsenal lost 7-1 to Sunderland (via Goal.com). But it will be a tough ask to rectify their woeful performance. Jurgen Klopp will take his side across Merseyside to battle top-of-the-league Everton at Goodison Park.
Football FanCast has predicted how the German will set up for the looming Merseyside derby…
The Liverpool fans were given a huge boost after reports of £108m-rated Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara, valued at £43.2m, showed them back in training at Melwood. The duo had been ruled out of consideration after testing positive for Covid-19 but both are now fit and firing, ready for selection. However, Naby Keita is the latest to test positive and will miss the Goodison clash.
With Mane back, the Reds can hopefully avoid another dismantling and return to their frightening form in attack. With Thiago operating behind the front three, chances should be aplenty for Klopp’s side. Additionally, Jordan Henderson is back to full fitness and has been putting in solid performances for England. Having the skipper’s presence in the engine room will help keep things calm against an in-form Everton.
Liverpool are unlikely to make many changes to their senior backline, except perhaps in Virgil van Dijk’s centre-back partner. Joe Gomez seriously struggled against Aston Villa and was substituted off just after the hour mark. Fellow defender Joel Matip has also returned to training and might get the nod ahead of Gomez in order to give Adrian the best possible chance of keeping out any unsuspecting Blues goals.
Mane and Henderson could be the game-changers for the Reds who were without their strong influence at Villa Park. Additionally, the absence of Everton’s Yerry Mina could be another boost for the title holders.