Venue – Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England UK
Time – 12:30 PM GMT
Date – Saturday 1 April 2017
It’s the Merseyside Derby, of course. Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 12 games against Everton and Jurgen Klopp could theoretically become their first manager to win his first three derby games.
Ronald Koeman will bring a team in good form to Anfield, though, with the hope of bucking a recent trend for capitulation in this fixture; Everton have melted under the lights of this occasion far too many times in recent years.
Liverpool are without Adam Lallana for the 228th Merseyside derby because of a thigh problem sustained playing for England earlier this week.
Jordan Henderson remains a doubt but Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firminho are all in contention.
Everton’s Ramiro Funes Mori and Seamus Coleman will not play again this season following injuries suffered on international duty.
Morgan Schneiderlin has a calf injury and is also unavailable.
“Everton’s upturn goes back to December’s derby. Beaten only once since losing at home to Liverpool in the last seconds, they’ve narrowed the gap on their rivals from 16 points on 1 January to six on 1 April.
“Might a win across the park for the first time this century even prompt thoughts of pipping the Reds (and two other reds) to a top-four finish?
“It might, although Liverpool’s performances under Jurgen Klopp in the biggest games means that remains a far-flung thought for now.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman on the injury to defender Seamus Coleman:
“It’s a big, big blow for the player and a big, big blow for the club.
“In all my years in football, Seamus is one of the best professionals I’ve ever worked with at any club. “That mentality will really be helpful to him now in not only coming to terms with what has happened but in setting out on the road to recovery and, over time, in him building himself once more to the level he has maintained over many years here at Everton.”
Romelu Lukaku must be kept quiet if Liverpool are to record a crucial win over rivals Everton, says Simon Mignolet.
Simon Mignolet is aware Liverpool will have to find a way to deal with in-form Romelu Lukaku if they are to keep their impressive Merseyside derby run against Everton going.
Liverpool host Everton in the Premier League at Anfield on Saturday, the Reds hoping to extend a sequence that has seen them avoid defeat against their city rivals since 2010.
Mignolet will be in direct competition with his Belgium team-mate Lukaku, who is top of the league’s scoring charts with 21 goals, nine of which have come in his last six top-flight games.
The goalkeeper says he and Divock Origi have discussed the match at length with Belgium colleagues Kevin Mirallas and Lukaku – who he says has everything required to reach the top – during the international break.
“Lukaku is in a good moment and we will have to deal with him,”
Mignolet told Sky Sports.
“He has all the ability he needs to be a very good player in the Premier League.
He has strength, finishing and he is very important for Everton.
“He can do as much as he wants to do in his whole career, we just have to try and keep him quiet this Saturday. We have to prepare ourselves for that but it is Liverpool against Everton, not us against Lukaku.”
With Romelu, Kevin and also Divock there has been some back-and-forth.
“When you spend 10 days together with them in the same hotel and you know you are playing the Merseyside derby afterwards, especially as a keeper facing them, it gives you a bit of insight and information, but the same goes for them.
“I think it is nice to play against them but it is much more about the club getting three points.”
The stakes are high for this derby, with Everton now only six points behind fourth-placed Liverpool as they seek a first Anfield win since 1999 and one that could be crucial in the race for a Champions League spot.
“Of course there is much more at stake than the three points,”
“There is bragging rights but when it is kick-off time we will step onto the pitch and we have to see it as our job.
“That a top-four finish is what the overall objective was at the beginning of the season and that is what the objective will be until the end of the season.
“We know there will be a lot of competition, there always will be in the Premier League. ..
We are fighting.”
Head-to-head If Liverpool avoid defeat they will equal their best run of 13 league games without losing to Everton, set in 1978.
The Reds have lost just one of the previous 20 Merseyside derbies in the Premier League (W10, D9).
Everton’s last victory over their local rivals was in October 2010 – Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta scoring in a 2-0 league win at Goodison Park.
There have been a league-high 21 red cards in this fixture in the Premier League, with seven of the last eight shown to an Everton player. Liverpool – Jurgen Klopp could become the first Liverpool manager to win his first three league Merseyside derbies against Everton.
After winning just one league game in January and February, Liverpool have been undefeated in March (W2, D1).
Liverpool could win four straight home games in the league for the first time in a year.
They have won 16 matches this campaign, equalling their number of victories from the entire 2015-16 season.
The Reds are unbeaten in 14 Premier League games against the current top 10 this season (W8, D6). Manchester United (twice) are the only visiting team to keep a Premier League clean sheet at Anfield during Klopp’s tenure.
Everton – Everton have suffered just one defeat in their last 12 league matches (W8, D3) and have kept four clean sheets in the last five games.
Their tally of 23 points in 2017 is unsurpassed in the division and they have also scored a league-high 26 goals this calendar year.
Romelu Lukaku has scored five times against Liverpool in the Premier League, but only one of those goals has come at Anfield, for West Brom in 2013.
The Belgian striker has scored 10 Premier League goals in the 80th minute or later this season – a joint record alongside Kevin Phillips, who scored 10 in 1999-00.
Ross Barkley has created 67 goalscoring chances, more than any other English player in the Premier League this season.
Prediction – I don’t think Everton will go to Anfield and just try to to defend, which is the main reason I am backing Liverpool to win. 2-0