3 Oct 2015

Liverpool Lineup vs. Everton: £26m star dropped? Late injury boost? Surprise start for Teixeira?

After only one win in eight games, Brendan Rodgers remains under intense pressure at Anfield, and if the Reds lose at Goodison Park tomorrow, FSG may find it hard to ignore the deafening (and inevitable) calls for managerial change. Quite simply, it's a must-win game for Liverpool, but more than that, it's a must-win game for Rodgers.

Pre-match news:

* Firmino, Lovren, and Henderson all remain on the sidelines with injury.

* Kolo Toure went off injured against Sion, so he's unlikely to feature.

* Rodgers on Benteke: "We’re seeing how Christian Benteke is over the course of the next 24 hours".

* On Sturridge: "He’s still looking to get to full match fitness [but] he’s fresh and fit and looking forward to the game this weekend".

* On Flanagan: "If Jon Flanagan is fit, then he will play in the [Everton] game".

* On his approach to the game: "We go into the game with confidence, we've got quality in the team and we'll look to take those chances while remaining solid defensively."

* Joao Carlos Teixeira trained with first-team on Friday, which hopefully means that he'll be in the match-day squad. Given Rodgers' treatment of the Portuguese so far, though, I'm not holding my breath.

* Lallana scored against Sion, but he'll probably drop to the bench, just as he did after scoring against Bordeaux.

There's one stark difference between Liverpool and Everton this season: goals.

* Everton: 18 goals scored in 9 games (1 every 45 mins).

* Liverpool: 10 goals scored in 10 games (1 every 93 mins)

On the plus side, Everton's defense is just as porous as Liverpool's (11 goals conceded vs LFC's 12), which is good news for Sturridge...and also for Lukaku.

Luckily, under Rodgers, Liverpool have an excellent record against Everton, but it's doubtful that this will give the Reds any discernible psychological advantage.

Team I expect Rodgers to select:

------------- Mignolet
----- Can ---- Skrtel ---- Sakho
Clyne --- Lucas -- Milner -- Moreno
------------ Coutinho
------ Ings -------- Sturridge

Team I'd like to see:

------------- Mignolet
----- Gomez -- Skrtel ---- Sakho
Clyne ---- Lucas -- Milner -- Moreno
------------- Teixeira
------- Coutinho --- Sturridge

Predicting a 1-1 draw, Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson told the BBC:

"Everton are in better form, but this is a derby and that tends to go out of the window. I am going for a draw, which is a result Reds boss Brendan Rodgers will be happier with at the moment".

PREDICTION LEAGUE

Predictions must be in (in this comment section only) 1.25PM (GMT) on Sunday. My prediction: 2-2.

Author: Jaimie K



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