Liverpool may be languishing in 10th this season, but at least they’ve still been able to chuckle at goings-on across Stanley Park.
It may have been an historically bad campaign for the Reds so far, but they’re still not nearly as bad as the Blues. Prior to last weekend’s win over Arsenal, Everton hadn’t won for 11 games. At least Liverpool fans still had their neighbours misery to smile at.
But following the arrival of Sean Dyche to replace Frank Lampard as manager, things may now have changed. That beating of Arsenal has allowed renewed optimism to blossom on the blue half of Merseyside.
Still mired in relegation trouble, they head to Anfield on Monday with genuine hope of beating their struggling rivals. For Liverpool, they simply have to be far, far better than last Saturday’s 3-0 mauling at Wolves. A few will deservedly be hooked from the starting line-up that day. But some will remain. Here’s the XI we think Klopp will put out.
One of the few players to come out of this season with any credit, Alisson Becker was clearly distraught by last week’s latest embarrassment. Right now, he may be wishing for some respite from it all, but he’ll go again on Monday.
So too will Trent Alexander-Arnold. Usually a lightning rod for criticism following a poor Liverpool display, Trent was spared the usual histrionics last weekend and has actually been one of the Reds better players in 2023.
If Trent was spared criticism, then Joe Gomez and Joel Matip certainly weren’t. The two were completely hapless against Wolves. Jamie Carragher called their collective performance ‘shambolic,’ and we think Gomez will be the one to pay the price here.
Without too many options, Nat Phillips will come in for him to partner Matip. At left-back, Andy Robertson will do his best to cover Big Nat.
In midfield, Klopp has several questions to answer. The first one of those will be whether to stick with young Stefan Bajcetic in the No.6 role. Although the 18-year-old would deserve it, we think the boss might just go with the extra physicality Fabinho will bring.
With Thiago Alcantara a doubt, it seems likely that Jordan Henderson will be brought back into the line-up, too.
Completing the three is likely to be Naby Keita. In light of recent news it looks like this will be his final Merseyside Derby as a Liverpool player.
Finally, Klopp has a choice to make in his forward line. Robbed of Diogo Jota for so long, the manager will be able to call on his No.20 on Monday.
We don’t think Jurgen will choose to throw Diogo straight in, though. Instead, Cody Gakpo should begin the game on the left, with Darwin Nunez through the middle.
He may be in desperately poor form, but never rule Mohamed Salah out in these games. The Egyptian will start from the right once again.
Come on Liverpool, three massive points here, please.
Liverpool’s predicted XI vs Everton: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Phillips, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo