Who: Liverpool vs Everton
When: Wednesday, December 4th @ 3:15pm ET
Line: Liverpool -278 | Draw +400 | Tottenham +750
Hold on…Googling…”Is Marco Silva still Everton’s manager?” He is?! Ok then, on with the post.
Liverpool host Everton on Wednesday. An air of inevitability hangs over this one. Just like when Manchester United visited Anfield last December during Jose Mourinho’s long and painful funeral march out the doors of Old Trafford, this may very well be Marco Silva’s last match at the helm of Everton. Any sort of shellacking all but assures his watch will have ended.
And it will end.
Liverpool vs Everton Merseyside Derby Preview
In this genuinely enjoyable video, Mo Salah, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Andy Robertson visit a local school as a Christmas surprise. It’s pretty wonderful and worth the full 8-minute watch. It would bring a smile even to the most emotionally vacant/bandwagony Man City fan’s face.
At one point, Salah is talking to a kid who is an Everton supporter. He says (paraphrasing) “Why not support us, you’ll be much more happy.”
And that’s pretty much the state of the Merseyside Derby in 2019.
These two teams are trending in polar opposite directions.
Having said that…if you’re Liverpool, you can’t get too confident about this match. It was just December 2nd, 2018 that the Toffees gave the Reds everything they could handle in an absolute classic. While Everton weren’t in a freefall like this year, they weren’t knocking on the door of the top 4 either. Still, they held Liverpool to a draw at Anfield until the 96th minute when DIVOCK ORIGI HAPPENED.
And Jurgen Klopp ran out and hugged Alisson.❤
That was the official starting point of Liverpool defying the odds and turning into the “mentality monsters” that they are today.
Now Origi is a Liverpool legend. The Reds are champions of Europe and are about six months away from being Premier League title holders. And Everton…are in 17th, two points above relegation.
Liverpool have some issues this match though. Through injuries, suspensions, or just general rotation during this hectic December schedule, Klopp may have to rely on an untested combination of players.
Alisson will miss the match thanks to his red card against Aston Villa. Adrian will (ably) fill in between the sticks. Fabinho is out through January. Either Jordan Henderson or Adam Lallana will get the start in the #6 role. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain showed enough against the Villans to earn another start in midfield. However, Klopp my opt to rotate him. Shaqiri is fit and can start.
Liverpool will need to show the level of organization and tidiness defensively they demonstrated against Villa (before the free kick, at least). Everton are an aggressive side. Like Liverpool, they throw lots of crosses into the box. Marco Silva has experimented playing left-back Lucas Digne in a more advanced role, essentially acting like the Toffees version of Andy Robertson. Digne, Everton’s best overall player, has three assists to lead the squad. He could have more, but Everton aren’t finishing chances at all. They’re underperforming their xG by almost 6 goals.
Regardless, striker Richarlison has been solid, with 4 goals and 2 assists so far. But he’s on an island there. Summer signing Moise Kean is a non-factor. Gylfi Sigurdsson is having a poor season by his standards. Dominic Calvert-Lewin has three goals but provides little else.
The squad is performing less than the sum of their parts. They’re often lacking spirit. They’re playing like they know their manager’s days are numbered.
Would I be surprised if Everton come out inspired because it’s a derby? Not at all. I just don’t think that’s the most likely scenario.
Just like with Mourinho and Man U last year, I can see this being the match that gets Silva sacked. If Liverpool go up early, they’ll pour it on. It’s a 4-0 Liverpool derby win.