Everton and Liverpool, two Merseyside rivals in very different forms, renew hostilities for Wednesday’s Premier League clash at Goodison Park. Last time out, the Toffees lost 1-0 to Brentford, while Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool cruised to a 4-0 victory against Southampton at home.
Everton manager Rafael Benitez hoped to win over the Goodison Park supporters right away with a solid start to the new season, but a worrying downturn has seen the Toffees’ promising start firmly committed to history.
Everton haven’t won in the Premier League since losing to Norwich City in September, and they were the latest victims of newly-promoted Brentford last time out, with an Ivan Toney penalty 24 minutes in separating the two sides on Sunday.
Everton have now lost five of their past six Premier League games, including each of their last three away from home, and are now 14th in the table, only six points above the relegation zone.
Everton have already gone three Premier League games without scoring, with star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin spending more time in the medical room than on the pitch this season, and Benitez’s reunion with the Reds looks certain to be a forgettable occasion.
Everton have grabbed just one point from the past nine points on offer at Goodison Park this season, which will be welcome news to Klopp’s in-form crop.
On Saturday, Diogo Jota was forced to switch Ultimate Team for the Liverpool team after withdrawing from a FIFA 22 event just in time to lead the line and score a brace in a routine thrashing of Southampton.
Jota scored with just two minutes remaining before paying homage to the video game with a controller-like celebration, and the ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers star would go on to score a second, with Thiago Alcantara and Virgil van Dijk also scoring.
Liverpool took advantage of Chelsea’s draw against Manchester United to close to within two points of the league leaders, but the Reds are now one point behind Manchester City after 13 games.
Klopp will not need reminding of the importance of points over the Christmas season before his squad is weakened for the Africa Cup of Nations, but finding attacking inspiration should not be a problem for a team that has scored at least two goals in each of their past 17 games in all events.