Reinstated Mignolet facing Mersey derby acid test
Jürgen Klopp made one of the biggest calls of his Liverpool managerial career when he axed goalkeeper Loris Karius for the trip to the Riverside Stadium but the decision was seemingly justified, as the recalled Simon Mignolet kept his first clean sheet of the season in a 3-0 stroll.
The Reds travel to Goodison Park on Monday evening, to take on an Everton side that has collected 4 points from consecutive home games against Manchester United and Arsenal.
Goal projections – Everton 1.11 Liverpool 1.72
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Team news & predicted starting line-ups for Everton v Liverpool
Phil Jagielka was sent off in the dying minutes of the Toffees 2-1 victory over Arsenal, ruling him out of the clash with Liverpool. Ronald Koeman opted to use a 4-3-3 formation in that fixture and he may well choose to do so again in the Monday Night Football.
It’s the formation that Klopp has utilised in all 16 Premier League games this season and Liverpool’s German manager will be hoping that they can put in a repeat of the type of ruthless attacking football that was again on display, as they made short work of Middlesbrough, with Adam Lallana pivotal in his midfield role.
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Ross Barkley hasn’t been on the score-sheet since Everton’s 2-0 victory over West Ham United in October, when he produced his best performance of the season, earning a WhoScored rating of 8.34 in the process. However, he followed that effort up with a dreadful showing in the 5-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, so Koeman will be hoping that Barkley, who again starred in the win over the Gunners doesn’t drop his level so drastically again.
The England midfielder’s attitude has been questioned so it was a bit of a surprise to see speculation linking him with a move to White Hart Lane.
Everton team news
Ramiro Funes Mori will replace Jagielka in the heart of Everton’s defence, while Gareth Barry, who missed the victory over Arsenal, will be hoping for a recall at the expense of James McCarthy.
Aaron Lennon and Enner Valencia are again expected to flank Romelu Lukaku in attack.
Predicted starting line-up for Everton against Liverpool
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All eyes will be on Mignolet, who has faced Everton 12 times in all competitions, with a record of 3 victories, 4 draws and 5 defeats. while securing 4 clean sheets and conceding 16 goals.
Liverpool team news
The Reds still have a lengthy injury list that includes Philippe Coutinho, Danial Sturrudge, Danny Ings and Marko Grulic but Divock Origi is expected to shake off the knock he picked up at the Riverside, while Emre Can and Joel Matip may also be involved.
The latter could replace Ragnar Klavan in the heart of the Liverpool back four, the only likely change from the midweek fixture.
Predicted starting line-up for Liverpool against Everton
Will Mignolet pass the acid test at Goodison Park or will Liverpool’s goalkeeping problems rear their ugly head once again?