Liverpool vs Everton – Premier League preview and team news

Although the Premier League season is only five weeks old, its first Merseyside derby is a vital game for both sides, as Liverpool and Everton have both made sluggish starts.

With three defeats already, the hosts have shown few signs that they are about to make another challenge for the title, with the win at Tottenham representing their only consistent display so far. A number of new attacking players are still yet to fully gel with their teammates, while the much-criticised defence continues to leak goals with alarming regularity for a club with lofty ambitions.

On Tuesday, they struggled to shake off Championship opposition in the shape of Middlesbrough, who only succumbed following a marathon penalty shootout, so the Anfield crowd are due a performance.

A porous defence is also proving to be a problem across Stanley Park, as despite the introduction of the highly-rated John Stones, three were conceded at home to Crystal Palace in largely disappointing display. That result saw Roberto Martinez’ team selection called into question, as well as whether the team is capable of balancing domestic football with the Europa League.

Things did not improve at Swansea City in the Capital One Cup, as the Toffees’ miserable record in that competition continued. They were never really in the game as the Welsh club won comprehensively, but a first win away to their biggest rivals for 15 years would be a perfect response.

For Liverpool, Philippe Countinho and Jordan Henderson will both be assessed due to minor injuries, while Daniel Sturridge faces a race against time to be fit. Joe Allen, Emre Can and Jon Flanagan are definitely out.

Everton are still without midfielder Ross Barkley, but there could be a return for Seamus Coleman and Steven Pienaar.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Liverpool v Everton

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