Michael Mongie explains who he thinks Jurgen Klopp will choose to send out to face Everton in the Premier League on Monday.
The first Merseyside derby of the season will be that much more exciting as the game is scheduled for Monday. Typically, Monday night football is exciting and rewarding for supporters.
Liverpool and Everton will lock horns at Goodison on Monday and with the Blues confident after a 2-1 victory over Arsenal, we should expect an open and enticing fixture. With 40 goals scored, the Reds are the Premier League’s highest scoring team and will pose a vert credible threat to Everton’s defence.
There is no doubt that Liverpool will score at least two goals when they travel across Stanley Park to visit Everton, but whether or not they can build on the clean sheet picked up against Middlesbrough is another story on its own.
When Liverpool travelled to the Riverside Stadium midweek, Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren were the centre-backs chosen to lead the side in defence. Joel Matip was ruled out after he experienced more pain in his troubled ankle. While his absence wasn’t felt against a spirited but toothless Boro side, against slightly more threatening opposition in Everton, if the Cameroonian is absent, Liverpool might struggle to contain the likes of Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku.
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I expect Matip to miss out with Jurgen Klopp mentioning in his press conference on Friday that the former Schalke man was struggling to sprint before the Middlesbrough game. My expectation is that Klopp won’t risk Matip with a game against Manchester City in two weeks to come.
When commenting on Matip’s chances of starting, Klopp said, “Joel is again a little bit different. We did not make a final decision about how we handle it because he had this problem for two or three weeks.
“It’s a little bit of an ankle problem, it’s not a real injury but it’s painful and we cannot push him through, that’s the situation.
“So now we have to see if we try it against Everton or if we give him a few days and try against Stoke or another few days and try against Manchester City.
“I don’t know in this moment. He did parts of the training before the Middlesbrough game but in the end he said ‘I cannot sprint’ so it makes no sense [to use him]. We are in really intense conversations about this and we haven’t decided.”
While there is doubt about Matip’s place in the team through injury, Klopp confirmed that Simon Mignolet will keep his place in the team over the struggling Loris Karius. The Belgian shot-stopper kept his 50th Liverpool clean sheet against Middlesbrough and will be hoping to keep his place in the team with a commanding performance against Everton on Monday.
Speaking about Migs, Klopp said, “I don’t want to change each week – that was not the plan,” the manager said.
“Simon had a really good game [against Middlesbrough] so he will be in goal, for sure.”
With Emre Can a doubt for the game, it’s likely that the German will find himself on the bench but Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum will start in the engine room as they so often have this season.
Up front, we may see something similar to what has been on show since Philippe Coutinho damaged ligaments in his ankle against Sunderland. Despite Divcock Origi’s excellent goalscoring form, there have been calls for the Belgian goal-machine to be shunted out wide in order to better accommodate Roberto Firmino.
Even though the Brazilian is entirely capable of playing on the wing, it does restrict his creativity to an extent. Even if Klopp chooses to switch Origi and Firmino, the fluidity up front has reached a point where it doesn’t matter if Mane starts on the wing or as a striker, he will find himself back on the right wing at some point anyway.
Monday’s game will kick off at 20h00 GMT at Goodison Park and Liverpool will be looking to pick up three points to make the most of the remaining games in December.
Let us know in the comments section who you think will start on Monday night.