October 20, 2023

Premier League: Liverpool, Everton open week 9 with 243rd Merseyside derby

Premier League: Liverpool, Everton open week 9 with 243rd Merseyside derby

Sean Dyche has confirmed Everton have no fresh injury concerns following the international break with the 243rd Merseyside derby set to take place this weekend.

The Blues head to Anfield on Saturday (12.30pm BST kick-off), looking to build momentum following three wins from their past four outings.

A welcome boost for Dyche comes in the form of Seamus Coleman, who is back training with the full squad, although the Everton manager insisted his captain “needs time” before being ready following his medial ligament knee injury sustained at Leicester in May.

Meanwhile, Idrissa Gana Gueye, who was forced to pull out of the starting line-up after sustaining a heel issue in the warm-up of the 3-0 home win over Bournemouth last time out, should be available having made a substitute appearance in Senegal’s 1-0 victory over Cameroon earlier this week.

That means Coleman, Andre Gomes (calf) and Dele (groin) are the only absentees for Everton’s clash with Liverpool.

Klopp’s quandary over South American stars

Another season of contrasting fortunes appears to be unfolding on Merseyside.

Liverpool have shown signs of being back to their best under Jurgen Klopp and are just three points off the top.

Everton, by contrast, look set for another relegation battle after taking just seven points from a soft schedule in their opening eight games.

The Toffees have not won at Anfield in front of a crowd since 1999.

“Their record is very strong, they are a very good outfit, we know that,” said Everton boss Sean Dyche. “Our record needs changing there, we know that.

“It’s been a long time with not many wins but it’s a tough place to go.”

Klopp, whose team have taken just one point from their past two games, has a selection headache — he is unhappy at the 1130 GMT kick-off on Saturday, just days after some of his key players represented their countries in South America.

Alexis Mac Allister, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez all played 90 minutes for Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay respectively in matches that finished in the early hours of Wednesday UK time.