The Chalkboard: Fabinho must man-mark Gylfi Sigurdsson out of the Merseyside derby

With club captain Jordan Henderson suspended for the Merseyside derby thanks to his red card against Watford, summer signing Fabinho is expected to come in to replace him – however, he will have one key job to do if his side are to get one over on their rivals.

Everton’s danger man

Gylfi Sigurdsson, an Icelandic international, has already scored seven goals for the Toffees this season from an attacking midfield role, surpassing his total tally of six from the previous campaign.

A key feature of the former Tottenham man’s game is his late arrivals into the box to get on the end of things, and even if those runs are tracked, his long-range shooting is almost second to none in the Premier League – just ask Leicester fans who witnessed his screamer at the King Power.

Having arrived from Swansea before the start of last season for a huge fee, a lot was expected of the technical 29-year-old, although he failed to live up to the hype for the most part of the season.

Under Marco Silva, however, he is a player reborn as the Portuguese boss’ style and system suits him down to the ground – especially with quick, technical players around him in a well balanced side.

Fabinho must man-mark Gylfi Sigurdsson

The Brazilian international has only started three league games since his £43.7m arrival from Monaco back in the summer, as Jurgen Klopp looks to bed him in slowly.

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Now, however, the former Monaco man is getting involved a bit more, and will most likely get his first taste of a Merseyside derby this Sunday. It is imperative that he doesn’t get caught up in the occasion and that he remains focused on Sigurdsson’s whereabouts.

In a blink of an eye, Everton’s number 10 can find the back of the net from freakish distances, and always seems to find a way in between the lines of defence and attack.

Should Fabinho let him loose even for a minute, it could be the difference between yet another derby win, or Merseyside temporarily turning blue.