Liverpool host neighbours Everton at Anfield in the 242nd Merseyside derby on Monday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have been struggling for form and results but the visitors arrive having received the immediate benefit of a new manager bounce with a first victory since October.
Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the issues ahead of the Premier League game.
Could Everton arrive at a worse possible time for Jurgen Klopp?
Two seasons ago the Toffees won their first match at Anfield since 1999 in a Covid-affected behind-closed-doors match. The power of the crowd does have an effect but the form Liverpool are in could easily negate that. Sean Dyche, as then-Burnley manager, was the man who masterminded the end of Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten home run in the Premier League a month before Everton’s memorable win two years ago. He has just brought to an end relegation-threatened Everton’s long winless run and reignited their season.
With just five training sessions Dyche was able to get a performance – and more importantly – a result against Premier League leaders Arsenal. He has organised the players, managed to get them running more and secured a first clean sheet in 10 matches. With another week behind him expect the Toffees to be even-better drilled with a game plan to exploit Liverpool’s numerous weaknesses.
Concerns for Klopp
Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez – who have both scored one goal in eight – are short of form. The Liverpool manager is still struggling to find the right combination in midfield and his defence is leaking goals alarmingly having conceded nine in their last four league matches, having kept one Premier League clean sheet in 10 games and confidence is low. Virgil Van Dijk has an outside chance of being back for Monday but Liverpool’s inconsistency pre-dates his hamstring injury a month ago.
Everton on the up
The arrival of Dyche, not necessarily the sacking of Frank Lampard, has provided the much-needed lift around the club. The former Clarets boss has made a point of applying the personal touch to his squad and has been rewarded with a positive response. While they may still be in the relegation zone, the perception has already changed to hope from despair and Everton will arrive at Anfield more confident than would have been the case a couple of weeks ago.