Everton will be desperate to put a dent Liverpool’s title bid this weekend when the table-topping Reds makes the short trip across the park for the 233rd Merseyside derby.
Jurgen Klopp’s side go into game week 29 of the campaign with a one point lead over champions Manchester City.
But the Citizens could be sitting at the top of the pile by the time the all-Merseyside clash kicks off if they avoid defeat to Bournemouth at Dean Court on Saturday afternoon.
Liverpool picked up just their second win in six games in the midweek clash with Watford, but what a way to get out of a ‘slump’, they hammered five without reply past a helpless Ben Foster in the Hornets’ goal.
Everton ended a proper slump of their own when they eased past a struggling Cardiff 3-0 in Wales — ending a run of three straight defeats.
They say form goes out the window in derbies, but this really hasn’t been the case for the Toffees in recent history.
The Blues haven’t defeated their main rivals since October 2010. Almost nine years has passed since Everton have had the bragging rights of the city.
Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill scored that day but what the Goodison faithful would do for a new hero to rise on Sunday.
The Anfield derby in December well and truly ended Marco Silva’s honeymoon period as Blues chief.
Divock Origi’s late, late winner knocked the stuffing out of Everton. Since that disaster in the 96th minute the Toffees have gone on to win just five of their 16 clashes.
Everton are yet to beat any side above them in the league this term, losing eight and drawing three.
A win won’t see Silva’s side rise in the league, but a loss could see them drop as low as 12th with results elsewhere.
Mohamed Salah would be the obvious choice, but Sadio Mane will prove more of a threat to Everton’s frail back line.
The Senegalese winger has netted seven goals in his last eight outings and will be facing off against Séamus Coleman.
Despite his heroics against Cardiff on Tuesday night, the Ireland captain hasn’t been in great form for large parts of the season and Mane will be keen to show his blistering pace against him.
Yerry Mina has been passed fit but Leighton Baines is out.
The visitors will be without Joe Gomes and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Klopp is hopeful he will have the influential Roberto Firmino back at his disposal, Dejan Lovren is doubtful.
Man in the middle
Martin Atkinson will take charge of this one. He sent off Jack Rodwell in this fixture in 2011, a truly dreadful decision that was later overturned by the FA.
In 26 games this season he has shown 84 yellow cards and two reds