Liverpool and Everton will both be looking to improve on recent form in Monday’s derby and a win could be important in boosting confidence in both camps.
Three points could be imperative for either side as they look to improve on their current league positions. Liverpool sit in 10th place and Everton are still in the relegation zone in 18th.
After beating Arsenal last weekend, the Toffees will be looking to claim another scalp in the form of their Merseyside rivals.
Everton will be hoping to kick on after their first victory in eight Premier League games, which was new manager Sean Dyche’s first game in charge.
Despite sitting in the relegation zone, Everton fans will be spurred on by last weekend’s result. Even with the turmoil that has surrounded the club recently, former Burnley man Dyche has already helped improve the mood.
Last weekend’s win was only Everton’s fourth victory of the season and just their fifth clean sheet, with the goal coming from one of Dyche’s former players James Tarkowski.
While an away trip to Anfield is usually one that daunts Everton fans, even the most doubtful of supporters will have a sense of optimism due to their local rivals’ poor form of late.
Since the turn of the new year, Liverpool have looked a shell of the side that took Manchester City to the last game of the season last year and have been struggling to re-discover their goal scoring touch, scoring just once in 2023.
Only Bournemouth have picked up fewer points than Jurgen Klopp’s side in 2023 and the Reds are on their longest winless run at the start of a year since 2017, where they went five games without a win.
There have been questions this season around the Everton players’ commitment, with back-to-back home losses before the Arsenal win, the mood at Goodison Park was hostile to say the least.
But, with an impressive display against the league’s stand out performers this season and with the excitement of a new regime, the optimism has returned, something that has been completely taken away from Everton supporters this season.
With a rare clean sheet for the Toffees, Dyche seems to have brought immediate defensive stability, something that was key at his time at Burnley with Ben Mee and James Tarkowski forming a solid partnership at the back.
Dyche will be hoping he can re-create something similar with Connor Coady and Tarkowski who both performed excellently last weekend and will need a similar performance to keep Liverpool at bay.
One to watch: Amadou Onana
While there have been slim pickings on stand out performers at Everton this season, one player many Everton fans have been impressed by is £33 million summer signing Amadou Onana.
The midfield powerhouse has been one of Everton’s shining lights in what has been a pretty dismal campaign so far and will surely be a huge part of Dyche’s plans to help turn things around.
Onana’s excellent form continued last weekend against Arsenal with a dominant man of the match performance. The Belgium international was once again a crucial part of Everton’s midfield, working tirelessly in attack and defence alongside Idrissa Gana Gueye and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
Onana completed eight ball recoveries, five ground duels, four tackles and two interceptions and played an important role in keeping quiet the creative Martin Odegaard. He also provided a threat in attack as well, successfully providing two key passes and creating one big chance.
🚨 Amadou Onana's match against Arsenal: 🔵 #EFC
80% pass accuracy
8 possessions obtained
7 duels were won.
There were two chances created.
2 tackles gained
1 shot, 2 interceptions
That is a performance worthy of the MOTM award. Everton. pic.twitter.com/j9klh7I4Zl
— Topskills Sports UK (@topskillsportuk) February 4, 2023
Back-to-back victories against Arsenal and Liverpool could be an incredible way to start Dyche’s tenure at the Blues and a win at Anfileld would make history.
Only two mangers have won their first game in charge of a Merseyside derby, but the Toffees will have the extra motivation of climbing out of the relegation zone which will make a win against their greatest rivals that little bit sweeter.