The games are coming thick and fast. Whether you are a Red or a Blue you have got to absolutely love to see it because there is just so much football coming our way.
On Wednesday evening Everton travel to bottom of the table Norwich City whilst Liverpool await the arrival of ninth placed Crystal Palace for their first game at an empty Anfield since the restart.
After a underwhelming yet unsurprising 0-0 draw in the Merseyside derby, it was the third successive season that it has finished goalless at Goodison Park, both Everton and Liverpool will be wanting their first wins since the wonderful Premier League got back up and running.
Everton kick off at a slightly earlier time than the Champions in waiting Liverpool as Ancelotti’s men kick off at six o’clock and will be fancying their chances of heaping the misery on The Canaries as they seem all but doomed for relegation. In the reverse fixture Everton also probably fancied their chances but a full Goodison Park witnessed another nail in Marco Silva’s coffin as they were beaten 2-0 many months ago. Therefore, the Everton squad will be wanting to seek payback and Ancelotti will be reiterating that.
The experienced Italian got his tactics spot on against Liverpool nullifying their threat just like he did whilst managing Napoli in the Champions League earlier on in the campaign. Tom Davies so nearly nicked it on the counter attack hitting the post and it would have made Ancelotti’s defensive plan look perfect, but Joe Gomez got the block in deflecting it away unfortunately for The Toffees.
So, with no fresh injury concerns it will be interesting to see whether Everton take the game to Norwich or whether they look to frustrate Farke’s team in a solid defensive 4-4-2 unit even though the German insists that ‘‘we know we’re the underdogs’’.
With Yerry Mina, Fabian Delph and Djibril Sidibe all out against Liverpool and there was bound to be some chances for other players yet there was a surprise that caught everyone off guard on Sunday as youngster Anthony Gordon was handed a start. He kept his discipline but failed to have a real impact on the game so he may get another chance to impress as Ancelotti said in his latest press conference that the younger players will ‘’Maybe… be able to play some part of the games’’.
Consequently, with the same players who were injured for the derby still unavailable it looks set to be another young refreshing startling line up for Everton as they still attempt to fight for a European place.
For Liverpool, the objective is obvious, win the league as soon as possible. However, they will not be able to do that with a win against Crystal Palace due to Manchester City blitzing Burnley 5-0 on Monday night. The earliest Liverpool can officially win the title could still be this week though. What needs to happen is a Liverpool win on Wednesday then a Manchester City draw or defeat against Chelsea on Thursday. Lots of if’s and maybes but it is a matter of when Klopp and his team can win it and not if they can which has been the case since around Christmas, that is how good this Liverpool team have been.
The team will be different for Liverpool on Wednesday as Klopp confirmed that Andy Robertson and Mo Salah are both fit for the Crystal Palace game having both been in normal training and he also confirmed that Joel Matip and James Milner will both be out after picking up injuries in the Everton game.
The likelihood is that Salah will come in for Minamino on the right wing and Robertson will come in for the injured Milner at left back. Gomez will also most likely get a start at centre back alongside Van Dijk with Matip not available and Dejan Lovren’s unimpressive cameo on Sunday certainly not helping his case to get a start.
Naby Keita will be hoping he can be handed successive starts as the midfielder played really well alongside Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in midfield before getting subbed off as Klopp has insisted he wants to make the most of the new five substitutes rule. Therefore, it may be a quite predictable starting eleven for Liverpool.
Roy Hodgson will be hoping he can come and upset Liverpool supporters just like he did when he was in charge ten years ago. At Selhurst Park Palace gave Liverpool one of their most difficult games of the season nearly snatching a point off them in a 2-1 defeat but after a 2-0 win against Bournemouth Crystal Palace have real aspirations of getting into Europe so their foot will certainly not be off the gas.
‘’It will be difficult’’ Klopp has said but he knows more than anyone that it will be difficult for them, just like it has been for every team that has come up against The Reds this season.
Wednesday Merseyside will yet again be ever so grateful that football is back as Everton and Liverpool play back to back at six then quarter past eight.
Everyone is hoping that it will be just a bit more entertaining than Sunday as Ancelotti and Klopp want to showcase their players talents for our viewing pleasure and what a pleasure it looks set to be.
Written by Elliot Thompson