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AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: Liverpool v Everton

A brilliant third-round of the FA Cup continues with a Merseyside Derby treat, and we could see a close game between Liverpool and Everton. Jurgen Klopp has brought the good times back to Liverpool in no uncertain terms, but the FA Cup has been missing from the highlight reel at Anfield. Klopp has led Liverpool in ten FA Cup ties, winning only three, and two of those were against Westcountry rivals Exeter and Plymouth after replays.

One of those successes was a 2-1 win in a Merseyside Derby at Anfield when Jordan Pickford misjudged a corner and Virgil Van Dijk headed home just six minutes from time and send the Reds into the fourth round, where the result was in the balance until late despite Liverpool dominating much of the game; In the next round, they would go onto lost 3-2 to West Brom at home.

Liverpool have had plenty of other priorities in the past two seasons – they’ve made the last two Champions League finals, and then they lost the Premier League by just a point – and this season they have a tough Champions League last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid whilst they will put everything into trying to win the Premier League.

Everton could have more motivation for a cup run this season. Their 5-2 defeat in the Premier League fixture saw Marco Silva sacked soon after and we’ve seen a rejuvenation in their fortunes since, first under Duncan Ferguson and then under Carlo Ancelotti, who has seen that rejuvenation continue.

If they can continue with the same improvements that have seen them pick up deserved wins over Burnley and Newcastle United ahead of a game performance during a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad, then they shouldn’t be looking below themselves in the table and with no European commitments, a cup run would be very attractive – with the small matter of today’s games first.

Liverpool v Everton
FA Cup Third Round
16:01 BBC One HD

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD*
(Maximum 10 matches, Since 2010)
DEC 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 5-2 Everton
MAR 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 0-0 Liverpool
DEC 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 1-0 Everton
APR 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 0-0 Liverpool
JAN 2018 FA CUP Liverpool 2-1 Everton
DEC 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 1-1 Everton
APR 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 3-1 Everton
DEC 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 0-1 Liverpool
APR 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 4-0 Everton
OCT 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 1-1 Liverpool
FEB 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 0-0 Liverpool
SEP 2014 PREMIER LEAGUE Liverpool 1-1 Everton

Liverpool have eight players injured (Joel Matip, Xherdan Shaqiri, Dejan Lovren, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Rhian Brewster, Fabinho, and Naby Keita) and we’ve already seen them prioritise the Club World Cup over the Carabao Cup, albeit with a crazy schedule that didn’t give them a huge amount of options.

It’s impossible to know who will start, but Klopp has only rotated minimally in the Premier League and we could see him attempting to give a break to some of his key performers. Adrian is a likely starter in goal, while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson could be rested too.

Klopp could be tempted to rest Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk given that they are the only fit senior centre-backs and In midfield, Adam Lallana could be given a starring role whilst this could be an ideal time to hand Takumi Minamino his Reds debut.

One certainty to start is surely Divock Origi, who has a brilliant record against Everton – he’s scored in all four of his five Anfield matches against the Toffees, including a brace in last month’s 5-2 win in the league.

We don’t know how Everton will line up here but their starting XI for their Carabao Cup quarter-final against Leicester (Duncan Ferguson was in charge) should be a good guide. That night Ferguson started Jordan Pickford, Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, Leighton Baines, Alex Iwobi, Tom Davies, Mason Holgate, Bernard, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Ancelotti went for the same line-up here.

It’s also worth noting that Ancelotti, who won the FA Cup in 2009/10 with Chelsea, has successful experience facing Klopp’s Liverpool this season thanks to his exploits with Napoli and should be able to take on the hosts tactically too.

That could make for a close game, and it’s worth noting that December’s 5-2 thrashing aside, Everton haven’t been beaten by more than one goal in this game since April 2017 – and they can make things tight today.

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