Two Things to Look Out for Before the 2019 Merseyside Derby

Merseyside derby

For many, this is the biggest game of the season. Not only are three points ripe for the taking, but bragging rights are on the line. On Wednesday night, Everton take the familiar road across Stanley Park to Anfield, the home of their biggest rivals; Liverpool. A win in the 2019 Merseyside derby will be the perfect opportunity for either side to assert their dominance.

The Toffees have struggled in this fixture in recent times and Everton couldn’t be coming into this game at a worst time. Marco Silva is under extreme pressure to turn their season around. They languish one spot above the bottom three with a third of the season gone. Meanwhile, Liverpool are flying high. They lead the league by eight points and have yet to taste defeat this season. But, manager Jurgen Klopp will be mindful of the old cliché that form goes out the window during derby week.

 Things to Keep in Mind Before Watching the 2019 Merseyside Derby

The Brazilians Out of (and in) the 2019 Merseyside Derby

Liverpool are missing several key Brazilians.

Allison, named the best goalkeeper in the world at the Ballon d’Or ceremonies, will be missing after picking up a red card in Liverpool’s last game. But, the Brazilian has failed to keep a clean sheet in the league this year and the Reds have a capable replacement in Spanish shot-stopper Adrian.

Jurgen Klopp praised the Spaniard after the Brighton & Hove Albion game despite him letting in a goal straight after coming on to the pitch.

“My man of the match is Adrian, coming on in a game like this and having that knock of the free-kick,” the German manager told the club website. “He saved our lives and I am happy for him he can play the derby.”

A bigger problem may present itself with the absence of midfielder Fabinho. The Brazilian, who is out until the New Year, has been a key part of Liverpool’s hot start to the season. He is averaging 2.5 tackles and 1.3 interceptions with a passing accuracy of over 50%.

Both Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson lack Fabinho’s defensive instincts. They average fewer interceptions and tackles than the Brazilian, and Fabinho’s absence may be a gift for Everton’s Brazilian.

Forward Richarlison has been a shining light this year for the Toffees. He is their top scorer, which includes an impressive header in their defeat at the weekend against Leicester City. He represents Everton’s best chance at finally ending their long Anfield drought.

Liverpool will have to work extra hard to keep him out in Fabinho’s absence.

Set Pieces

Liverpool and set pieces seem to be a match made in heaven. Since the start of 2018/2019, the Reds have scored a whopping 40 goals from dead-ball situations.
Virgil van Dijk showed the world what Liverpool can do with two goals from set-pieces against Brighton. Both deliveries came from young Scouse full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold. The 22-year-old is earning comparisons to David Beckham due to his precise deliveries.

Everton will have to be alert to the danger posed by this aspect of Liverpool’s game.

They’ve already conceded seven goals from set-pieces this year. If they are to come away from Anfield with anything, this part of their game will have to be on point.

Brace Yourselves

No matter what happens in this game, the Merseyside Derby is sure to be a cracker of a match. It’s known ‘The Friendly Derby’, but no game has produced more red cards than this fixture.

Liverpool will be hoping to overcome the absence of two key men and that their set-piece prowess will come to the fore, while Everton is hoping that Richarlison exploits any gaps. As the game approaches, a city holds its breath. Liverpool and Everton are set to do battle once again.


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