Everton have been warned not to take Liverpool too lightly when the table-topping Toffees welcome Liverpool to Goodison Park.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side go into the match boasting a 100% record. They are also top of the fledgling Premier League table after four straight wins. Champions Liverpool, meanwhile, are down in fifth, having been spanked 7-2 at Aston Villa last time out.
Nonethless, pundit Danny Murphy insists that defeat will only serve to fire Jurgen Klopp’s troops up.
Liverpool could go into the game without Naby Keita, amid claims he has tested positive for Covid-19.
However, Murphy insists three stars in particular will be out to prove a point against Everton.
He told the Daily Mail: “In theory, Everton will be happier than Liverpool at having the Merseyside derby next up in the Premier League at Goodison Park on Saturday.
“They are on a great run of form with maximum points under Carlo Ancelotti. Liverpool were drubbed 7-2 at Aston Villa in their last game and have not had time to work on mistakes, with players scattered around the world on international duty.
“For the first time for many years, the blue half of the city will understandably go into the game expecting to win.
“But in football you are best to be careful, particularly given a team as good as this Liverpool.
“We all know Jurgen Klopp’s men have great resilience and character besides their obvious quality.
“They have jumped over nearly every hurdle in the past couple of seasons. They have bounced back from losing European finals, let alone one league game at Villa Park.
“Everton will not have the advantage of a full house roaring them on and Liverpool may even benefit from Ancelotti’s side being so confident they will get on the front foot.
“If I was in the blue dressing-room, I would say beware the wounded animal, particularly as Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara should be all right to return.”
Murphy expecting derby classic
Klopp has given no hints to his team selection at this moment in time as he awaits the return of his international stars.
However, with Liverpool having a point to prove and Everton bursting with confidence, Murphy is expecting a classic affair.
He added: “This is a fascinating game because of Everton’s revival.
“But they will miss the momentum they would have got from their fans. Liverpool will view it as a wonderful opportunity.
“People are questioning them for the showing at Villa and conceding three goals against Leeds. They will want to silence the critics.
“Everton are really hyped about it – but I’m backing a Liverpool response to Villa Park.”