Pretty much anything we say here in the blurb is something you’ve heard before already this season. Everton have found myriad ways to fritter away points this season, and along with never having come back to win a Premier League game under Marco Silva, are starting to develop quite annoying habits of throwing away leads as well as losing at home to newly-promoted sides.
Against Norwich City the Blues simply failed to show up despite playing at Goodison Park. While the effort was present against Leicester City on Sunday, the weak-willed manner in which the Toffees failed to consolidate first the three points and then proceeded to give away the consolation point was a further heartbreak in this most sorry of seasons for the supporters.
The calendar had already warned us this would be anything but an easy holiday schedule, and with that comes the most difficult of tasks this season at what might be the lowest point mentally for this squad - a trip to Anfield. The Blues’ multiple injury woes, combined with the Reds riding high and running away with the league, it simply could not be a worse time to take on Liverpool and yet, here we are.
The numbers don’t make pretty reading, but suffice to say that the Toffees failure to win at the Reds for two decades should tell you what a gargantuan task this will be, considering better Everton teams have contrived to lose to worse Liverpool teams there in that time.
Then there’s the whole matter of Marco Silva and his tenure at Everton. The Blues results early this season have pretty much ensured that he’s a dead man walking right now, yet three other Premier League sides have gone ahead and sacked their managers and yet Everton persist with the Portuguese manager.
One can understand the hesitation to change yet again after the turmoil of the last few years, but with the Blues facing the very real possibility of getting to Christmas and still staying stuck on the 14 points they are on right now, are the Blues still better off keeping Silva?
Right now every throw of the dice is coming up aces (to scramble two gambling terms) for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Rightly or wrongly, even VAR has been kind to them, which only goes to prove for Evertonians that when it rains, it’s causing Noah’s Ark levels of flooding at Goodison while across Stanley Park the sun is shining so brightly the rainbow landed right at Anfield’s center circle and the accompanying pot of gold is spilling over into the Kop. (/end metaphor)
Liverpool are eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table, doing decently enough in the Champions League, play against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup quarterfinals in a fortnight and will also be at the Club World Cup this month. Klopp has done well rotating his side so far and with a squad the size of what he has, won’t be too hard-pressed to find a way to play nine games this month while keeping his players fresh.
Of concern for the Reds will be their failure to keep clean sheets, even at home, but will be relishing the arrival of Everton who have become quite legendary in allowing opposition teams and players the opportunity to break ducks and end streaks.
March 3, 2019 - Everton 0-0 Liverpool - Premier League (match report)
This was the game that the air raid siren was first used before Z-Cars at Goodison Park, heralding a strong finish to the season as a hitherto aimless Toffees side got over their winter blues and made up ground in the league table.
The game itself was as to be expected - the Blues tried to give the Reds no space in the middle, conceded some big chances that were either foiled by Jordan Pickford & Co. or fluffed by the visitors.
This stalemate later went on to become famous as the game Liverpool threw away the Premier League title at as they allowed Manchester City to catch and eventually overhaul them in a torrid title race.
Everton’s injury crisis is yet to subside, though Morgan Schneiderlin was fit enough to start over the weekend and now Theo Walcott has recovered from the illness that saw him miss the Sunday game.
For Liverpool, two players from their start eleven will be out tomorrow, with Alisson suspended after his red card over the weekend and Fabinho also out with an injury. Joel Matip is still yet to recover from a knee injury and remains out along with Nathaniel Clyne.
What they said
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: “The stats help Everton more because they want to strike back. Remember we don’t have to speak about quality and quality differences.
“Are we in a better moment in the table? Of course, that is obvious. They want to show they can do differently. They can solve a lot of problems in one game. It is a very important football game for us but that must be enough for us.”
Everton boss Marco Silva: ““Let’s go with big motivation and with big courage to embrace the challenge like we did last season. Let’s go there to play. We have to enjoy it. It will be a tough game for sure. It is a special game for the city, for our fans.
“It is a fantastic game to play. When you play derbies, it is always a fantastic atmosphere. We have to enjoy the game. All the players in the world have to enjoy when you are talking about Everton-Liverpool or Liverpool-Everton matches.”
Not many Everton fans went into Sunday’s game at Leicester City with high hopes of a win, but even the most ardent positive-thinking Blues will have a hard time backing this embattled side to come away from Anfield with all three points.
With Silva’s future on Merseyside in question, even a famous victory at Liverpool might only buy him a few more weeks in charge at Goodison, unless of course the Toffees follow that up with convincing performances against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal plus continue to progress in the Carabao Cup.
Until then though, seeing how often we’ve been embarrassed by Liverpool over the years, we can only hope and pray that the football gods look kindly upon this downtrodden fanbase and not inflict further agony upon us.