It’s a Merseyside Derby!
Despite reports that the squad was fully fit heading into the match, Jurgen Klopp apparently disagrees. The German manager goes with another unconventional starting XI against Everton. Last time at Anfield in December, it produced an offensive onslaught as the Reds crushed the Toffees 5-2.
Earning starts are
The Injured Naby KeitaTM The Looks Great in Training Naby KeitaTM, Takumi Minamino (in for not fully fit Mo Salah), and James Milner (in for a not fit Andy Robertson). Youngsters Harvey Elliott and Neco Williams get first team nods as well. No Xherdan Shaqiri to be found.
Let’s see how this goes.
Quiet first half that ends in 0-0 tie. Liverpool looks marginally better and certainly creating better opportunities by the end of the first half.
Liverpool a little sharper in second half but not that great. Dull af 0-0 draw. Alisson bailed us out.
Here are Liverpool vs Everton player ratings.
Liverpool Starting XI vs Everton
Here’s the full squad and bench.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Jurgen Klopp (4) –
We certainly won’t question Klopp on his XI. If he doesn’t feel Salah is good to go, and that Keita finally is, he’d know better than we.
Goes pretty defensive in first half playing it safe. Not sure I like the Ox for Minamino sub. Need Ox in, yes, but in the midfield. Poorly manages subs so when Matip gets injured, Salah is boxed out of coming in. Poor showing by Klopp. Felt like he reverted back to his ’18-19 “let’s play for draws!” routine.
Alisson (7) –
Great to have Ali back. Quiet and not challenged until late, but comes up with a HUGE save to keep the Reds in it. Gets the 7 for saving the game.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (6.5) –
Liking TAA growing the hair out. Good look. Not liking the mustache though. Or he free kick he took in the 12th minute. Whips a great free kick in at the 30th minute that Matip just couldn’t handle. Nearly puts in a free-kick in the 41st minute. “Growing into the game” as they say. Probably our best defender.
Virgil van Dijk (6) –
Handling Doucherlison with no problem. Calmly snuffs out a dangerous through-ball in the 38th. Handled his business. Won an absurd 10 aerials.
Joel Matip (6) –
Must look great in training. Surprise start over Joe Gomez. Couldn’t quite get his head on a wonderful free-kick in from Trent. Good job running down Doucherlison in the 61st, forcing him to sky one into the bleachers. Comes off with a knock in the 73rd for Lovren.
James Milner (5) –
Gets the nod over an unfit Robbo. Quiet game. Doesn’t see a lot of the ball. No crosses in of note. Gets a knock and subbed out in the 43rd.
Jordan Henderson (6) –
Happy 30th (on Wednesday), Skipper. Confident but quiet day.
Naby Keita (6.5) –
Please look as good in a game as they say you do in training. It’s about time.
Good outlet pass to Minamino leading to an early attempt. Looks good early. Dribbled into the box and sets up Mane towards end of half (Mane muffed it). Really creative 1-2 with Bobby in the 52nd minute but sprayed his volley wide.
Subbed off for Gini in the 65th. Definite signs of life in this performance, though not totally dominating. We can build on this!
Fabinho (6) –
Was fine. Almost buried a free kick in stoppage to win it.
Takumi Minamino (5.5) –
Like Keita, supposedly looks great in training. Will it translate on the field?
Playing with more confidence. Smashes a laces shot in first 10 minutes high and wide but with real power. Subbed out at the half so a somewhat INC grade but did show signs of improvement.
Sadio Mane (6.5) –
Really energetic early. Vibrant first half with 3 won tackles and 4 completed dribbles. Much less effective in second half.
Roberto Firmino (5.5) –
Ugly strike in the 34th minute — should’ve done better. Cheeky chest pass to Keita in the 52nd could’ve led to an opener. Subbed off in the 65th for Big Div. Pretty bland performance.
Joe Gomez (6) – Comes on the 43rd for an injured Milly. No mistakes, no big plays either.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (5) – Comes on at the half for Minamino. Salah should’ve come in. Ox better in mid.
Gini Wijnaldum (5) – Comes on for Keita in the 65th. Anonymous.
Divock Origi (5) – Comes on for Bobby in the 65th. No impact.
Dejan Lovren (NR) – On for an injured Matip.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Alisson for bailing us out. If that was Adrian between the sticks, it’s a Liverpool loss.