Everton vs Liverpool

Friday, 19 June, 2020 117comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Everton will return to action this Sunday in the Merseyside derby, 15 weeks after the Premier League season was suspended because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With “Project Restart” having successfully completed its first two matches as Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Manchester City and Arsenal played their games in hand from League Cup Final weekend, the first full programme of fixtures is scheduled for this weekend.

Spared the ignominy of their local rivals clinching what has been, from their perspective, a long-awaited Premier League title at Goodison Park following City's win over the Gunners on Wednesday, the Toffees can focus their minds on what has become a crippling psychological hurdle over the past decade.

No senior Everton side has beaten Liverpool since 2010. In the seasons that have followed, there have been nine draws and eight wins for the Reds in the League. The longer time has dragged on since Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta secured a 2-0 derby victory in October 2010, the more harrowing the all-Mersey clashes seem to have become for the Blue side of the City.

This weekend's derby will, of course, chart new territory; played behind closed doors without the raucous atmosphere that makes these games so special. Instead, the Grand Old Lady's seats are expected to be draped in banners and, while television viewers might have the option of hearing recreated crowd noise to enhance the viewing experience, the stadium itself will echo to the shouts of players, coaches and not much more.

There's a wry argument to be made that, perhaps, without playing in front of those demanding home supporters, Carlo Ancelotti's men might be relieved of a major source of pressure when they take on Jürgen Klopp's champions-elect. It's been argued before that some of that collective Blue anxiety can ooze out of the stands, like it did at Wembley in 2012 following Sylvain Distin's ill-fated back-pass, and affect the players.

On the other hand, though, it's been the baying crowd responding to a crunching tackle, a piece of skill, or a vital goal that perhaps enabled the Blues to eke out as many draws as they have over the years rather than allow Liverpool to ram home the gulf in resources and financial might that has existed between the two clubs since the 1980s.

Against as formidable a Reds team as there has been in the Premier League era, Everton, arguably go into this derby stripped of arguably their biggest asset — the “12th man” of Goodison Park but, with nothing to be done about the situation, they will simply have to adapt.

As Dominic Calvert-Lewin said this week, “You can't really anticipate how it's going to feel. Our fans are fantastic and they play a big part in giving us that energy to run the extra mile with the atmosphere they create. That's got to come from within now.”

The Blues' form prior to the suspension of the Premier League in March in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic left a lot to be desired. The sequence of four games against so-called “big six” teams that was interrupted by the coronavirus offered Everton a chance to press their claims for Europe just weeks after Ancelotti's arrival as the club's new manager but a return of just one point from a possible nine from the games against Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea has left them languishing in the wrong half of the table.

If there is one straw to clutch at, it's that both teams will be rusty coming out a three-month hiatus. Klopp's men were actually betraying a measure of fallibility just before the shutdown; while that was weeks ago now, just as early-season matches often throw up unexpected results, there's a chance that Everton could catch Liverpool off-guard.

"I know how the Everton supporters look for this game, what they want to see from my team. We know really well what we have to do," Ancelotti said in his first pre-match press conference in over three months via video conference today. "We have to play a perfect game, showing character, sacrifice and personality.

"For sure to beat Liverpool you have to do more than play at 100 per cent. We have to consider this game as a great opportunity. It will be difficult of course because Liverpool are one of the best teams in the world, but we have to try."

It's conceivable that Ancelotti will name something close to the same XI that started the game at Stamford Bridge over 100 days ago as more or less the same group of players is at his disposal in terms of fitness. Jean-Philippe Gbamin remains a long-term absentee, albeit for a different reason this time following his unfortunate Achilles tendon rupture, while Morgan Schneiderlin won't be ready following knee surgery and Fabian Delph is ruled out again with another soft-tissue complaint.

Seamus Coleman missed the defeat at Chelsea but is fit to play now and could be preferred to Djibril Sidibé whose future at Goodison is uncertain after Everton allowed the purchase option on his loan from AC Monaco to lapse.

Yerry Mina is ruled out with a quad strain and that will see Michael Keane partner Mason Holgate, with young defender Jarrad Branthwaite expected to be named in what will be an expanded squad to accommodate the temporary rule change allowing for up to five substitutes.

With Theo Walcott sidelined, there is an opening for Bernard or Alex Iwobi on the right flank playing off the anticipated strike duo of Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin.

It wasn't a given that this game would be played at Goodison Park; for a while, there were very real discussions about holding the match at a neutral venue to discourage crowds from flocking to the stadium amid fears that the inevitable lack of social distancing would risk further transmission of the coronavirus.

Thankfully, common sense prevailed. One would hope it involved some faith in supporters being able to adhere to the directives while also taking into account that Liverpool are among the most widely-supported teams in the country and there isn't a city in England where they don't have thousands of Kopite cultists.

Naturally, it goes without saying that Evertonians should support the Blues from home where the game will be screened live on Sky Sports Pick / Main Event / Premier League) and not visit Goodison at any time close to the match. By the same token, the club are urging Blues fans not to congregate in groups to watch the game together out of an abundance of caution not to further spread the virus. The sooner it dies down, the sooner proper football with fans in the grounds can return.

This article has been amended after the TV broadcast details for Wednesday's game against Norwich were specified instead of this game which will be carried by Sky.

Kick-off: 7pm, Sunday 21 June, 2020
Referee: Mike Dean
VAR: Chris Kavanagh
Last Time: Everton 0 - 0 Liverpool

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Digne, Davies, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (117)

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Tony Everan
1 Posted 19/06/2020 at 16:47:08
I like Carlo's calm and measured confidence, I think the tone is spot on.

Watford beat them convincingly not long before the lockdown. They played with confidence on their own patch and were in Liverpool's face. It worked, and with a sprinkling of luck ended up worthy winners.

If we do the same the footballing gods can work their magic. We've got more in our locker than Watford so if the lads can match that relentless controlled aggression we can beat them.

The attitude has to be:

“This is Goodison Park, home of Everton Football Club. To win, you will have to kill me.”

If any team gets all the points from our patch, there should be blood and guts (from both sides) on the pitch after the game.

Anything less won't do. We have to have the confidence and belief with the right attitude we can beat anyone on our patch.

Minik Hansen
2 Posted 19/06/2020 at 16:59:41
"...but we have to try." I understand that statement from Ancelotti. Just don't make it an impossible task. Fight for our squad, and anything can happen. COYB.
James Flynn
3 Posted 19/06/2020 at 17:13:13
Well I'm ready. Let's get them.
Dave Williams
4 Posted 19/06/2020 at 18:11:14
I hope Duncan is given full licence to shout from the bench. The players will hear every word with no crowd and he may just be able to inspire us and intimidate them.
Kunal Desai
5 Posted 19/06/2020 at 18:28:55
Sunday night under the Goodison lights... let's beat the red shite. COYBs!
Derek Knox
6 Posted 19/06/2020 at 18:52:02
At least Pickford won't get distracted by opposition fans behind his goal. Watching Norwich v Southampton, started off lively enough but has gone a bit stale. Needs a goal early second half to get the interest piqued.
Rob Halligan
7 Posted 19/06/2020 at 19:14:19
Dave, # 4. That's a good point about big Dunc barking out orders from the touchline. I can just imagine it, right in front of the dugout, one of their players bombing down the line, and Dunc shouts "take the fucker out". The RS player will shit himself!
Bill Gienapp
8 Posted 19/06/2020 at 19:22:59
I could actually see us winning this. Because why *wouldn't* we finally break our recent derby bugaboo in an empty Goodison?
Rob Halligan
9 Posted 19/06/2020 at 19:27:24
Derek, you're wish was granted with two quick goals by Southampton, who lead 2-0.
Joe McMahon
10 Posted 19/06/2020 at 19:28:50
Derek @6 correct, I just hope he doesn't get too cocky with Liverpool players, as we know they have plenty of goal in them.
John Raftery
11 Posted 19/06/2020 at 19:44:10
Our players need to defend properly from the start and scrap for every yard on the pitch. There is an argument for including a couple of the Under-23s to inject some energy but I suspect the starting eleven will be close to the one suggested by Lyndon.

I hope Digne shows his top form after an average season and that Sigurdsson finally makes an impact. Similar hopes apply to Pickford, Seamus, and Keane.

It would not surprise me if Klopp throws in a couple of the teenagers who embarrassed our players in January.

Derek Knox
12 Posted 19/06/2020 at 19:55:19
Rob @9, Norwich do look pretty poor, and we play them on the 24th, hope they don't suddenly start playing. It looks like they are Championship bound, unless they get a miracle.
Kieran Kinsella
13 Posted 19/06/2020 at 20:24:11
I worry that if the shite score early our players will throw the towel in. During these types of clashes at Goodison it seems the crowd often play a huge role in invigorating the team. If we still had the likes of Barkley, no fans might help so he wouldn't freeze up when people sigh at his wayward passes.
Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 19/06/2020 at 20:24:49
Never saw the game, I was hoping for a draw so both teams would lose points.
Christy Ring
15 Posted 19/06/2020 at 20:52:54
Ancelotti is supposed to be impressed with Baningime in training, if you can believe everything you read, so I'd start him, as he's the only defensive midfielder we have at the moment. In the FA Cup game, Delph, injured again, and Sigurdsson were a waste of space, so what have we got to lose?
Paul Birmingham
16 Posted 19/06/2020 at 21:24:37
It's the longest day on a Sunday for 2020. Let's hope the RS turn up at Goodison Park and Everton go for it, shoot from all angles and, player for player, get into the RS. No surrender!

I hope the officials will not revert to type and hand the RS their customary dodgy free kicks and penalties.

Got to be the last few games of their Everton careers for some, surely they will all fight and give all for the shirt on Sunday.

All stay safe and well.

Paul Hewitt
17 Posted 19/06/2020 at 22:01:49
Simply a nothing game.
Robert Leigh
18 Posted 19/06/2020 at 22:41:31
Good case for playing Sidibe ahead of Coleman tomorrow I imagine, especially with Walcott out. Don't hold much hope for the midfield, but perhaps no crowd will do Sigurdsson a favour.

Coleman - Holgate - Keane - Digne
Sidibe - Gomes - Sigurdsson - Bernard
DCL - Richarlison

James Flynn
19 Posted 19/06/2020 at 22:45:44
"Simply a nothing game."

Simply the keyboard touchings of a simpleton.

27 points left, European places in play, a derby.

Everything to play for.

Paul Hewitt
20 Posted 19/06/2020 at 22:52:11
James @19. Hope you enjoy the game. Me, I will find something else to do. Wake me up when next season starts.
Justin Doone
21 Posted 19/06/2020 at 22:57:21
I disagree with restarting sport yet and I'll l give the game a miss.

But.. of course I'll be hoping if it goes ahead we'll get 3 points.

I think Carlo gives too much praise to Liverpool. His words remind me of Martinez. We have to be perfect ('perfect' is unrealistic as there is no such thing), more than 100% (what.., how is that going to work?), they are one of the best teams in the world...

I'm all for respecting opponents but that's far too much from our manager for my liking.

Richard Mason
22 Posted 19/06/2020 at 23:51:00
Carlo, more than impressed with Gordon, said he is ready to play.

I seriously would like to see Baningime get a run.

Kieran Kinsella
23 Posted 19/06/2020 at 23:51:29

The problem is these pointless pressers. What's he going to say – “They're a bag of shite?” Everyone always says the same cliches unless, like Richarlison, they go off task a bit but then they're criticized for winding up the opponents. I'd prefer they say nothing. Release injury updates, announce the team then shut up until you release your autobiography.

Mark Andersson
24 Posted 20/06/2020 at 02:04:48
I'm disappointed in Carlo, praising the shite too much and the crap about we have to play 100% or more. Watford beat them, enough said.

Do your job, Carlo, and motivate the shower of cowards into beating the shite

As for the 12th man, we're handicapped with the bent officials.

I can't see us beating them, simple. We were crap against Chelsea... WHY?

Rob Newling
25 Posted 20/06/2020 at 08:10:55
Duncan unplugged? That should be interesting, or will they dub out the blue language?
Antony Kelly
26 Posted 20/06/2020 at 09:35:20
Reference #4 and #7

I don't think Ferguson will be allowed to say a word, the story about Ferguson and the players having murder in the dressing room after the last derby was fabricated, nonsense.

It's Carlo's show now, he's the main man, not Ferguson.


Alan Jones
27 Posted 20/06/2020 at 14:18:37
FYI, those looking to watch on TV in the UK, it's on Sky Pick channel. The channel hopper game is vs Norwich. Hope this stops anyone freaking out when they tune in!! COYB!!
David McMullen
28 Posted 20/06/2020 at 14:19:12
Should be pointed out not to confuse – this is NOT on BBC2 and BBC1 (that's the Norwich game on Wednesday). This is on Sky and Pick.
Charles Brewer
29 Posted 20/06/2020 at 14:26:46
Pick, is that the one with 720 by 480 resolution and the colour so dodgy that I couldn't tell the Norwich players from the grass?

It looks like Minecraft without the high resolution.

Michael Kenrick
30 Posted 20/06/2020 at 14:40:47
Thanks David @28, I read that and tried to find it in the TV Guide... half asleep this morning!
Paul Baxter
31 Posted 20/06/2020 at 15:17:45
If anyone wants to watch in HD and doesn't have Sky Sports, it's also on Sky One.
Michael Lynch
32 Posted 20/06/2020 at 16:22:28
I've watched parts of the games so far and I'm really not feeling it. The fake crowd noises are depressing (though watching without the noises is even worse), the empty grounds suck the life out of the game, and the football has been very strange – some teams looking like they've not even been training together.

There's something just fucking wrong about it all. I know it keeps the money flowing, but I'm struggling to see how football can recover from this. It just looks and feels forced and irrelevant.

With hindsight, the authorities may well regret not putting this season out of its misery and starting afresh when the crowds can return. I'm losing my love of the game with every match they show.

Christy Ring
33 Posted 20/06/2020 at 16:56:14
Paul Merson talking utter rubbish again on Soccer Saturday, when they were discussing our game. He said it will suit Everton having no fans at the game.
Mike Gaynes
34 Posted 20/06/2020 at 16:58:17
Definitely no social distancing by BHA on Maupay's last-kick game-winner against Arsenal!
Darren Hind
35 Posted 20/06/2020 at 17:12:05
Always gonna be the case, Mike.

Nothing like a last-gasp winner when it comes to sending common sense out of the window.

Derek Knox
36 Posted 20/06/2020 at 17:22:47
Christy @ 33, unless Merson has had an emergency bypass operation during the Covid-19 hiatus, his mouth has always been directly connected to his sphincter! :-)
Steve Brown
37 Posted 20/06/2020 at 17:30:12
Correct Derek, Merson talks pure shite. With the likes of Nicholas, Le Tissier and that ugly fucker Thompson, he is in good company every Saturday. Barely a brain cell between them.
Paul Tran
38 Posted 20/06/2020 at 17:59:09
Loved that Zoom thing some of the Arsenal fans did today. Michael/Lyndon, how about a ToffeeWeb Matchday Live Forum on Zoom?
Mo Guindi
40 Posted 20/06/2020 at 19:15:31
I actually think that, without the pressure of the fans hurling abuse at their own players, groaning at each missed pass or tackle or sighing out loud for each pass-back to Pickford, we have a strong chance of winning. Not sure the ‘12-th man' has been working too well for us.

On the other hand, our away record has been pretty awful. I've watched a few Bundesliga games as well as the handful Premier League ones shown. Fortunately or not, perhaps it really boils down to the more skilful team winning but perhaps Arsenal an anomaly today? Unless of course you think Arsenal really are hopeless now!

Dave Williams
41 Posted 20/06/2020 at 19:26:58
Actually I agree with Merson about no crowd. Our bottle tends to go when the crowd gets anxious and, without one, we may play better without that pressure. How nice to be able to misplace a pass and not be abused for it.

Like Michael Lynch, I get no pleasure from watching a game without a crowd and the game can't survive in this format for very long as people will eventually find better things to do.

That said, I am in no mood to talk sense as I have just been swapping emails with an old mate who is a red and I struggled to put together any kind of decent argument for anything other than an emphatic win for them.

Please, for once give us a break and perform!!

John Pierce
42 Posted 20/06/2020 at 20:15:49
Can't wait to see our subs social distance tomorrow and get an obstructed view.
Alan Rodgers
43 Posted 20/06/2020 at 22:08:10
Sky Sports News discussing the derby then going into an ad break while playing that RS dirge in the background. Not biased at all!!!
Steve Brown
44 Posted 21/06/2020 at 04:03:38
Come on, we need a Wayne Clarke to pop up tonight and rain on their parade.
Dick Fearon
45 Posted 21/06/2020 at 04:30:07
Silence of the lambs describes how lambs, sensing their approaching slaughter, go very quiet.

Unlike his gaffer, Richarlison got right in the face of the gobshites' main man. Good on yer, son. It's that kind of attitude that's needed from the rest of the mob.

Er, where shall I send the flowers?

Lynn Maher
46 Posted 21/06/2020 at 08:16:37
On BBC red button (even that sounds biased!) in their match previews today, each team's injury worries etc is mentioned. That is except Liverpool v Everton.

Nothing about the Blues whatsoever, except it's being played at Everton. But plenty from Klopp. I take it we are sending a team out!

Graeme Beresford
47 Posted 21/06/2020 at 09:15:57
My Grandad passed away from Covid a few weeks ago, he was one of Everton's greatest ever supporters, having a season ticket at Goodison from around age 30 until his passing at 91.

It's Father's Day today and I have this tiny hope that he will be there in his seat in the top balcony tonight, in spirit, cheering his beloved Everton on to victory.

What a Father's Day gift this would be for my Dad who has been through a lot of pain over the last few weeks, loosing his Dad.

Come on Everton!! Get out there, fight, battle them, and bloody beat them for once! COYB!

Colin Glassar
48 Posted 21/06/2020 at 09:26:43
Hopefully we can do it for your grandad, Graeme, and also for a generation of (young) Blues who have passed without seeing us win even a game of Snap – never much mind a trophy!

As for the game itself; well, once more, we are the sacrificial lamb being offered to the football gods as the RS regain their god-given title. It's sickening but that's where we are and where we will be for the foreseeable future.

Anthony Flack
49 Posted 21/06/2020 at 09:58:08
Derek at 36,

Beautifully expressed but remind me never to pee you off!

The last time I remember the media being so one-sided was before the Spurs FA Cup semi-final.

Fingers crossed!

Paul Birmingham
50 Posted 21/06/2020 at 10:00:20
Graeme, deepest condolences, for the passing of your granddad.

He's an Everton Legend, in his own right, and he will sit proud along with the Everton immortals, looking down from a Goodison Park in Heaven.

Hopefully today the players will be up for this game.

Sam Hoare
51 Posted 21/06/2020 at 10:06:15
Last time out, Chelsea totally overran us with Davies and Gomes in the middle. Carlo said he'd stick to the same tactics but surely he must be worried about history repeating? Neither Gomes nor Davies has the defensive or athleticism abilities to compete with the RS midfield trio. If Mina was fit, I wonder if we'd see Holgate step into midfield?

Going to be a tough contest for sure and much will depend on Calvert-Lewin's and Richarlison's ability to find space and hold the ball up. Wide midfielders will have to work extremely hard and, unpopular as it is, I'd be tempted to put Richarlison on the right for his insane work ethic and defensive ability.

I'd love to start Gordon on the right but not sure he has the defensive know-how. Or maybe Carlo will opt for a cheeky 4-3-3 to contest the middle more rigourously, though doing so would give free rein to TAA and Robertson. Very tricky. Glad it's Carlo making the choices and not me!!

Christy Ring
52 Posted 21/06/2020 at 10:10:05
Graeme, my deepest sympathy on the passing of your grandad, and hopefully he'll be smiling down on us this evening with a victory.
Tony Abrahams
53 Posted 21/06/2020 at 10:24:56
Never been less concerned about a derby match, but obviously hope the blues win, especially for you and your father, Graeme, and every other Evertonian who absolutely hates these rednose bastards!
Dave Abrahams
54 Posted 21/06/2020 at 10:34:18
Graeme (47), deep sympathy to you and your dad on the loss of granddad and dad, a remarkable achievement of supporting the Blues over many years as a season ticket holder. I hope you and your dad are toasting your granddad with a celebration drink or two tonight. Here's hoping, best wishes.
Brian Harrison
55 Posted 21/06/2020 at 10:40:49
Sky desperately wanted them to win the title at Goodison Park. Look, we know they will win the league but it won't be today, whatever the result. The media is full of their supporters, both in print and on the different television outlets. Their ex-players are pundits on radio and Sky, and the majority have never won a league title.

What the obsession is with hiring their ex-players, I don't know. All I heard from day one of lockdown was how unfair it would be on Liverpool if the season didn't finish, yet I don't remember such a fuss about us missing out when Thatcher took all clubs out of European competition.

You can bet your boots if it had been the other lot, they would have organised a petition that, when clubs were allowed back into Europe, they would automatically have got one of the places irrespective where they finished in the league. Maybe today, Sky might have a token Blue on the panel, but he would still be outnumbered by their ex-players, no doubt.

I hope we adopt a Dogs of War approach today, get in their faces from the off, and keep it going for 90 minutes. And please no last-minute gifts! With Dean in charge, we will get nothing from him, and who would bet against him giving them a dubious penalty, and we know VAR won't come to our rescue.

Jonathan Tasker
56 Posted 21/06/2020 at 10:45:12
The failure to “see” the Sheffield United goal at Villa showed yet again that this league is corrupt.

Expect no favours tonight from the cabal that control football.

Tony Shelby
57 Posted 21/06/2020 at 11:07:38
Can't see me watching it.

6-0 to the shite and all of our Father's Days ruined!

Colin O'Keeffe
58 Posted 21/06/2020 at 11:35:59
Just been reading Wayne Rooney's column in The Times, saying just how good this Liverpool team are and how they could dominate for years. I checked the odds and saw we are 5-1!! 5-1 to win on our own ground shows how big the gulf is between the two sides.

I honestly feel we'd have a better chance with Big Dunc's Dogs of War approach than Ancelotti's more measured approach today; however, Ancelotti's approach is clearly better long term.

It's just that we'll have to take a few beatings until we can get the right player in to play his style properly. Our best hope is a quick start to catch them off guard, luck and a moment of quality to finally lay the hoodoo. COYB

David Hallwood
59 Posted 21/06/2020 at 11:44:36
If selected, Sigurdsson's performance will be interesting. IMO, he looks like he's been overplayed, and if so, perhaps the 3 months off will put some fire in his belly.

Let's hope so because his performances prior to lockdown veered from disengaged to needing a zimmer frame.

Jamie Crowley
60 Posted 21/06/2020 at 12:09:24
I can't wait. Father's Day here in 'Merica and 4 of the 5 boys home to watch the game with their Old Man. Personally I'm thrilled footy is back, and upon return we face them.

Jump into the frying pan.

It's also a big, big day for all American TW Blues. For the first time, ever I believe, we can comment on the game without the condescending remarks of how we watch on telly. A level Brit-'Merican analysis playing field. Who'd of ever thunk it?

As Bill all the way back at 8 says, we'll win. Why? Because God has a sense of humo(u)r, and no fans will be there to go crazy when we finally break this hoodoo.

UTFB, it's go time.

Jamie Crowley
61 Posted 21/06/2020 at 12:12:49

Condolences. Here's hoping we do your Granddad, your Dad, and you, proud.

61 years a season ticket holder. Fantastic.

Tony Abrahams
62 Posted 21/06/2020 at 12:13:50
The failure to see, or the fact that Oliver, wouldn't go over to the side of the pitch and check the TV monitors, like he did during an FA Cup match earlier this season, and then reversed his yellow card into a red card, Jonathan!

My red mate has told me Richarlison has done Klopp's team-talk, which perfectly illustrates why we should never give these horrible self-centred Liverpudlians anything, all because he said he didn't think the Liverpool player was the best in the world in his position?

Klopp let his false guard down at Goodison last year, hopefully it's time for the red media and all the sycophants to let theirs down, that's something we'd all enjoy! 🤞

Derek Knox
63 Posted 21/06/2020 at 12:18:19
Hi Jamie C, great that you have 4 of your lads are home to watch with you on Father's Day, must make you a proud man. Look forward to sharing a fish pun, or whatever the theme maybe later on Live Forum.

I haven't missed the Football as much as I thought I would have, but miss the banter and the regular post mortems on TW. It's like over here with the Pubs being shut, I don't miss the ale that much, but do miss having a crack with the lads that are regulars.

Kim Vivian
64 Posted 21/06/2020 at 12:21:49
I heard once about a guy who fed his (guard) dogs with paprika because it made them more aggressive. Now whether that is true or not I don't know, but I hope our Dogs of War have been fed something similar for the last few weeks because a serious no-fear, in-your-face, combative attitude will be required today.

I honestly think we will take something from this game – maybe even 3 points – but the RS must be made to feel like they've walked into a fucking "derecho".

Come on, you blue boys – you've got it in you. Let's have 'em.

(Oh ... ditto Derek, btw. Looking forward to the forum/banter later.)

Ciarán McGlone
65 Posted 21/06/2020 at 12:34:19
Not sure whether it's lockdown fever or complete detachment from reality... but I'm optimistic today.

20 quid on us to win and Richarlison to score!!!

Kim Vivian
66 Posted 21/06/2020 at 12:40:12
Hundred quid in the bank, Ciaran.
Ciarán McGlone
67 Posted 21/06/2020 at 12:53:13
𧶀 mate... haha.
Kim Vivian
69 Posted 21/06/2020 at 13:05:39
Haha - didn't see past '...us to win'...! Fair do's.
Darren Hind
70 Posted 21/06/2020 at 13:19:59
I would play Kean up top tonight. He hasn't shown us anything at all, but we need to try something different

I think Richarlison can exploit their attacking full-back from a wider position and It might also throw the shite's captain off-balance. He will have been winding himself up all day for a very different battle after Richarlison's comments yesterday.

I also wonder if playing behind close doors may help Kean to relax a little and find something he hasn't been able to find since he got here? The kid has been losing credibility faster than Dominic Cummings. A goal, an assist, or even a good game against this crew would go a long way to restoring all that.

The RS are such overwhelming favorites, I think Ancelotti would be entitled to see the game as a free swing. One where he can really throw caution to the wind and have a proper go at them.

Tony Everan
71 Posted 21/06/2020 at 13:20:57

Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Sidibé Holgate Gomes Bernard
Richarlison Calvert-Lewin

If Mina is fit I would rather put Mason into midfield than have Sigurdsson in there. It's unlikely Carlo will go for that but I think it gives us a better midfield.

There needs to be a player in there who compliments what Gomes brings to the table. Holgate can best do that. Throwing Sigurdsson in there will affect Gomes's game and will weaken us. I hope Carlo has seen enough to be bold.

If Yerry Mina is not fit enough, try Beni Baningime in there, who would still give us a better-balanced team.

Kevin Molloy
72 Posted 21/06/2020 at 13:41:09
I think the key player for us today is Tom Davies.

If he plays one of his best games, then we could maybe get a draw.

Paul Tran
73 Posted 21/06/2020 at 13:48:56
Attitude and mindset is everything today. Give everything, chase everything, take everything in the belief we can beat them.
Derek Knox
74 Posted 21/06/2020 at 13:54:09
Kevin, while I admire your faith in Tom Davies, I think most of us want him to do well, but I'm afraid from the many chances he has had, he has failed to deliver often enough.

Especially starting a game; I suppose until we get better, he is an option from the bench though.

Steve Shave
75 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:00:21
Sorry if this has already been mentioned but I haven't had time to read the thread. How can I watch the game later? Someone mentioned it's free to view, would I need Sky?
Steve Shave
76 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:01:12
Tony (71), that would be my line-up too!
Kevin Molloy
77 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:01:55

It's not that I think Tom is necessarily going to have a glittering future, rather that that position is going to be absolutely key today.

If we go with a two of Sigurdsson and Gomes, I think we will be destroyed. We've got to have high energy closing down for the whole game and I think, from the personnel, he is best suited to this.

Phil Greenough
78 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:16:16
If you're in the UK, Steve Shave, it's on Pick, channel 159 on Sky.
Steve Shave
79 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:17:21
Thanks, Phil.
Charles Brewer
80 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:25:03
From looking at some of the comments, it would appear that I'm not alone in thinking that Holgate is a better midfielder than a back-line defender.

Last time we played the Red Shite, the midfield was overrun. I'd rather see some combination of Gomes, Davies, Holgate and Bernard played than playing with a couple of enthusiasm-killing statues like Sigurdsson and Schneiderlin.

I'd also like to see Keane at the back, when he played at Burnley and in the World Cup he was clearly a class act, but there is something about the style usually played – or maybe it's the lack of chemistry amongst the players – which doesn't seem to work for him.

Steve Shave
81 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:26:56
I'd love to see Holgate in the middle of the park; no way it will happen, though.

Am I right in thinking this hasn't happened under Carlo's tenure?

Robert Tressell
82 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:30:27
We are desperately unlucky not to be going into this game with a midfield duo of Gomes and Gbamin. Putting Holgate in there has appeal but it weakens our defence unless we plan to play very deep.

Whatever formation and personnel we pick will have significant weaknesses. The tactics, attitude and fitness levels need to be very good. I would also like to see Big Dunc attempting to intimidate from the sidelines, although of course there is no crowd to gee up.

John Crook
83 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:34:45
The last one we one (2-0 at Goodison Park, October 2010), I particularly remember us setting the scene and pace very early and I remember Yakubu getting tackles and blocks in very early. I felt we had a massive momentum swing towards us just by winning several 50/50s and challenges and loose balls. And, to be honest, in the previous 19 derbies we have not deserved to win any of them.

Okay, we suffered the real curse of Everton 'luck' in the Pickford howler a couple of years ago and the FA Cup semi-final 2012, but we have not deserved to win or controlled a game in about 19 attempts. We need someone in the middle who will want to go and win everything, but we just don't have that type!

Kevin Molloy
84 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:40:26
I'm thinking to myself 'this is a big game for Carlo'...

And then I realise, this most definitely is not a big game for Carlo.

Raymond Fox
85 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:48:06
To get anything out of the game, we have to want it more than them. Trying to play 'nice football' ain't going to work.

Looking at the stats, they are twice as good as us in every department, we are well up against it.

Can we knock them out of their stride? Well, yeah, it's football... but it's not likely.

Jay Wood

86 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:49:38
Those calling to play Mason Holgate in midfield, you do understand we are down to the bare bones at centre-back with Mina injured.

The lad has played well there for 120 minutes. At Old Trafford under Duncan when again we were down to the bare bones. And 30 minutes at Watford when Carlo reshuffled the pack after Delph's sending off.

Mason is one of the shining lights this season in his default centre-back position. If I'm not mistaken, he is one of the few to play every minute of every game under Carlo there.

Leave him where he is and don't try and be cute playing him as a defensive midfield, capable as he is.

As for the match itself, this has got to be the lowest-key derby game ever. No week-long anticipation. No sleepless night. No tingle of anticipation this morning on waking.

Looking forward to the match and will definitely watch it with my usual intensity. But it remains all about 'Meh!' to me.

Tony Hill
87 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:51:27
Sigurdsson tends to do well against the RS and I would select him; he may just have benefited from the break after his awful season.

We must have Holgate in defence against them, otherwise we have no pace there at all which would be suicidal.

Rob Halligan
88 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:53:12
Anyone who says we've got no chance, let me just remind you...


Dave Abrahams
89 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:58:28
I've heard that Davies and Gordon are starting the game, very surprising if true.
Fran Mitchell
90 Posted 21/06/2020 at 14:58:30
I expect a 5-3-2 (out of possession) that becomes a 4-4-2 in possession:

Colman Holgate Keane
Sidibé Digne
Gomes Iwobi Sigurdsson
Calvert-Lewin Richarlison

Expect to see Bernard, Baines, Davies, Kean all used off the bench. Maybe another if needed (but we don't have many senior options – Gordon may get a chance, depending on the score).

Tony Hill
91 Posted 21/06/2020 at 15:01:17
Bloody hell, Dave @89. Especially surprising if he's starting Gordon. At least it would be brave.
Darren Hind
92 Posted 21/06/2020 at 15:10:23
Dave @89,

Is that from a reliable source or just a rumour you've heard?

Rob Halligan
93 Posted 21/06/2020 at 15:14:16
Darren, the cheese grinder from Cumbria, Mr Keith Harrison, told me last night Holgate was injured, and Branthwaite was to take his place, so never believe anything you read or are told!
Charles Brewer
94 Posted 21/06/2020 at 15:14:21
All those who think Holgate is needed at the back are correct. My point was that I think he's better in midfield. I actually think a back four of something like Keane and Mina in the middle with Digne and Coleman (both of whom are excellent when on form) perhaps supplemented with Holgate when under pressure is more than adequate.

Holgate at the back is a good player and well up to the standard required in the Premier League. Holgate in midfield is an outstanding player.

On topic, but on adaptable players, I just about remember Sandy Brown (his introduction was often preceded by chants of "Bring on the Animal") who appeared to be able to substitute pretty effectively for any position in the team, including goalkeeper.

And Tony (87), I think you are correct that Sigurdsson should be selected. But only if he's wearing a red shirt, he's a total liability in a blue one.

Tony Twist
95 Posted 21/06/2020 at 15:21:45
I think Liverpool are a decent side and deserve to be Champions but they are good at what they do and it really highlights more the standard of opposition. They live a lot on reputation; I don't think they are a great side by any means.

They test their opposing sides and, more often than not, the opposition are lazy and don't do their job. This is Everton all over: players go missing, players don't follow the runner and they give teams too much time to set themselves or pick a pass. The fundamentals, which haven't improved with the last few managers.

I just hope time off has given them an appetite and a desire. Cut out the mistakes and we have more than enough to beat them even without the 12th man Goodison crowd. My team, if fit, would be...

Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne,
Sidibé, Holgate, Gomes, Gordon,
Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.

Make it happen, Blues!!!

Dave Abrahams
96 Posted 21/06/2020 at 15:21:55
Darren (92), a rumour definitely.

Well, I hope it is... but the lad who told me is genuine.

Clive Rogers
97 Posted 21/06/2020 at 15:25:13
Sidibé won't be playing, he's just not good enough and has recently been told we are not taking up the option to buy.
Dave Williams
98 Posted 21/06/2020 at 15:28:22
I've agonised for days but using 4-5-1 to become a fluid 4-3-3:


Richarlison and Gordon to occupy their full-backs and flood the midfield, ready to break forward when able. With five subs, they can really go for it.

It also gives us pretty much a full team of guys who will try their damndest to win.

Paul Birmingham
99 Posted 21/06/2020 at 15:30:02
Let's hope today's the day and that today Everton turn up and don't give up, and compete for the 97 minutes.

The previous two games, we didn't compete enough, so atonement is well over due.

It will be interesting to see who starts and any surprises outside of the players who are injured.

Michael Kenrick
100 Posted 21/06/2020 at 15:54:30
Newcastle Utd with goals and a home win over a top-six side to leap over us and push us down to 13th...


James Flynn
101 Posted 21/06/2020 at 15:55:10
Don't know about the RS "dominate for years". Sahah, Mane, Firmino, and Henderson are all north of 28 and have been playing a ton of high-energy minutes for years now.

There's other players of that quality around, but you have to get them to come to your club. We'll see how many years they can keep that up. Great as their current team is, it's unproven that they can sustain it.

Anyway, the ascendant club is and has been Man City. Barring their owners getting bored and selling, I think we're seeing that club in the early years of a Man Utd-under-Ferguson run of success.

Tony Hill
102 Posted 21/06/2020 at 15:58:34
Dave, @98, bold to have Gordon and Baningime, but why the hell not?

I watched Howard's Way again this morning. Colin Harvey's reaction and words when talking about Howard's death say everything about this club. Given that, nothing is impossible.

Along with others, including senior people at Everton (so we're told), I've often looked to Atletico Madrid as a model. Fighting for space against the biggest club in the world, they have developed a mentality which is hard, canny and fearless. It can be done. Building from within and prioritising our youth – with astute buys – may well be a start.

I know our record with young players is very limited, like most Premier League clubs, but you have to truly believe in it as a policy and organise accordingly.

Beni Baningime could be a seriously good player. If not now, when?

Rob Halligan
104 Posted 21/06/2020 at 16:01:00
James, we all know where this season's Premier League title is going, but should Man City lose their European appeal, then they will be odds on to win the Premier League next season.

They will throw all their eggs in the one basket for the title next season, maybe try for the FA Cup and play the kids in the League Cup.

Tom Bowers
105 Posted 21/06/2020 at 16:07:03
So Mo (bites your legs) Besic is back. Wonder if he will get a run-out today? The lad has some good performances under his belt out on loan but can Carlo use him?

Anyone really hate the cheesy accolades some players lay on their managers in the media, especially when they are starters. eg, Trent-Benedict Arnold today.

Bill Gall
106 Posted 21/06/2020 at 16:33:34

13th place with only 9 games left with the players we have and the manager we have, compared to other teams around us is very poor, and shows how difficult it will be to either buy or sell players. This season is starting to look as if every point is essential, just to maintain a mid-table position.

Tony Hill
107 Posted 21/06/2020 at 16:34:22
Rob @104, I think Chelsea are going to be formidable. Lampard is excellent and they have some fine players, obviously reinforced by Werner.
Jay Wood

108 Posted 21/06/2020 at 16:44:52
I've just watched a great piece on Brazilian TV that has roused me a bit and whetted my appetite for today's game.

For those who like their footy history and The Beautiful Game, today June 21 is the 50th anniversary of the 1970 World Cup final, Brazil 4 Italy 1.

The stuff of legends. So many great players. Really nice to see and hear from so many of them today.

Not expecting a Beautiful Game today. Just give me a win, any which way.

Just get the job done Everton.

James Flynn
109 Posted 21/06/2020 at 16:55:16
Rob - Next season will be like any. The games get played and we see what's what at the end of the season.

It's more this "dominate for years" business. I realize it was just one guy's opinion about the RS "dominating" and I respect anything Rooney says about footy. He knows his stuff. I think he's wrong, here, though.

For fun, let's see where the RS are at just 4 short years from now. Firmino, Mane, Salah, and Henderson won't be the core of the team then. For another, will Klopp still be there? He's in his 5th year now and his max at any club is 7 years.

"For years"? We'll see. And I doubt they will.

Clive Rogers
110 Posted 21/06/2020 at 17:04:19
Tom, 105, Besic was awful for Sheffield, lost his place, only played 9 games early in the season. They sent him back as soon as possible. Middlesbrough didn't want him either. Neither do we, he's on his way ASAP.
Jonathan Tasker
111 Posted 21/06/2020 at 17:09:48
We are 5/1.

Reflects the fact that they have better players but also they will get all the decisive decisions

Brian Wilkinson
112 Posted 21/06/2020 at 17:10:16
I agree with Tony@107, Chelsea have bought two world beaters and anyone looking for a punt next season, Werner to be top scorer is worth a second look.

Anyway back to Everton, be nice to see Gordon given a run out, the no crowd might actually help the likes of Gordon and Davies, I just hope against hope Pickford does not have a brain fart moment.

Tony Abrahams
113 Posted 21/06/2020 at 17:14:45
Was it true that Rooney was telling United to sign Gueye, just after he returned to Everton? Boyhood Evertonians telling his old club to sign one of our better players, no wonder we've sunk so low when we've had an owner that never had the money, but robbed Peter to pay Paul, rather than relinquish his hold over Everton.

Time to move forward now blues, it's time to start believing in ourselves again, and time to stop these smug kopite gobshites laughing at us

Tony Hill
114 Posted 21/06/2020 at 17:20:09
Michael @100, win today and we're 6 points off 5th. We must have confidence, as Tony says @113.

Brian@112, Villa don't agree with us!

Brian Murray
115 Posted 21/06/2020 at 17:26:40
Zouma not even on the bench tonight. Time to come home, kidda!
Robert Tressell
116 Posted 21/06/2020 at 17:39:54
Lampard talks sense and has an outstanding squad. That will take Chelsea a long way. He will get found out as a manager, however. Too open and not enough nous to grind things out.
Gary Carter
117 Posted 21/06/2020 at 17:48:45
Bill Gall @106 – you can thank Marco Silva god that.
Mike Gaynes
118 Posted 21/06/2020 at 17:54:46
Robert #116, he's only in his second season as a manager, anywhere. He'll learn how to coach that tactical stuff. I think he'll be outstanding. All the right instincts.
Brian Wilkinson
119 Posted 21/06/2020 at 17:57:20
Tony@114, why is that :-)
Brian Williams
120 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:16:50
Looks like Dave Abrahams is the new ITK guru!!

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