In-Form Liverpool Face Resurgent Everton in FA Cup Third Round

Premier League leaders Liverpool host a confident Everton on Sunday in the FA Cup third round. The Reds will be hoping for a repeat of the last meeting where they thumped the Toffees 5-2.

Things to Keep an Eye on as Liverpool Battle Everton in FA Cup Third Round

Carlo Ancelotti v History

Things could hardly favour Liverpool to a greater extent.

Not only are the Reds flying high in the Premier League, but the champions of the world also have a near-perfect record in the Merseyside Derby. The Toffees were well beaten in their recent visits. Most memorably for Liverpool was defender Virgil van Dijk’s late, and first, goal in the 2018 FA Cup third round.

But Everton have changed since losing the last Merseyside derby. Since then, the Toffees fired former manager Marco Silva and replaced him with three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian has overseen an upturn in Everton’s recent form with solid wins over Burnley and Newcastle United.

However, this game represents his greatest challenge, and Ancelotti is surely aware that any type of win will guarantee his place in Toffee folklore.

In order to get that victory, Ancelotti will be relying on striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The Englishman is in the form of his life and has scored five goals in his last six games – such performances have not gone unnoticed as reports indicate that the Toffees are preparing to offer him a new five-year contract.

Liverpool’s Near-Impenetrable Defence

Calvert-Lewin may have a hard time if Liverpool’s defensive play holds true to form. After struggling to keep a clean sheet at the start of the campaign, the Reds have now kept opponents scoreless in their last five Premier League games. Ironically, the last goal that they conceded in the league was to Everton’s Brazilian striker Richarlison.

Much of the credit for this upturn has to go to van Dijk, who has been exceptional. The Dutchman is averaging a whopping five defensive clearances per game and hasn’t made a single error in the Premier League this season.

But, another player has really stepped up recently.

Defender Joe Gomez has proven his worth. The young Englishman has really taken his game to another level. He seems set to be Van Dijk’s partner for the rest of the year.

His performances haven’t gone unnoticed by manager Jurgen Klopp.

“He’s exactly the type of player I expect to see, an outstanding centre half,” the German told reporters. “The future is bright for him because he is that much of a talent. The whole dressing room adores Joe because he’s such a nice fella so that’s good.”

If the Reds are to continue their recent run than Gomez’s form must continue.

Liverpool will hope that their marvellous season will continue with another win over their local rivals, but Everton and new manager Ancelotti will pray that they can finally overcome the Reds.


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