Lampard needs big moment to kickstart his season
Having dragged Everton clear of relegation danger, manager Frank Lampard must now prove he can develop a style of play that will ensure another survival scrap isn't necessary.
However, the Toffees have failed to win any of their first five games in the league, and only one of those matches has been against one of last season's top four. Everton have won just eight of their last 38 Premier League matches stretching back into last season.
There are mitigating factors. Star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin continues to be plagued by injury, and the financial excesses of the past now have to be paid for.
Keeping homegrown star Anthony Gordon is, however, a big plus, and smart signings like Amadou Onana, James Tarkowski and Neal Maupay are at odds with the costly splurges of the recent past.
Defensive shortcomings remain a concern. Everton have posted an Infogol Expected Goals Against figure of 1.0 or bigger in all but one of their league matches, and last season they gave up a total xGA of 64.6, one of the worst records in the top flight.
They have managed one clean sheet in their last 10 PL games, and that was in a dire 0-0 draw at hapless Watford, who went on to be relegated.
Maupay has finally been registered after his move from Brighton and should make his debut. Injuries to Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate mean that new signings Tarkowski and Conor Coady will make up the centre-back pairing.
Coady started his career at Liverpool, and knows what this fixture is all about.
Carvalho strike keeps Reds' heads above water
Although it wasn't at the Kop end, the dramatic ending to Liverpool's 2-1 win over Newcastle on Wednesday night was in keeping with so many of the club's home matches down the years.
Frustrated by a determined Newcastle side that was keen to eat up the clock, Liverpool somehow found a way to secure a comeback win, as promising youngster Fabio Carvalho swivelled to thrash home a loose ball with virtually the last touch of the game.
That victory avoided what would have been another morale-sapping result for Jürgen Klopp's men. With injuries piling up and Liverpool's rhythm proving elusive, last season's Premier League runners-up had had disappointing draws with Fulham and Crystal Palace, as well as a sobering and deserved defeat at Old Trafford against old foes Manchester United.
It's been a truly Herculean effort for Liverpool to have been competing with Manchester City at the top for so long, and such achievements cannot be replicated with key players like Thiago, Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konaté and Darwin Nuñez on the sidelines.
Liverpool are already five points behind City (and seven behind Arsenal), and although the Reds nearly overhauled a 14-point gap last term, they daren't lose more ground to Pep Guardiola's champions.
Nuñez is back from suspension after his egregious headbutt against Crystal Palace, and it will be fascinating to see if Klopp is willing to throw the Uruguayan into the white-hot atmosphere of a Merseyside derby.
In his stead, Robert Firmino has excelled, and the Brazilian was simply sensational in the 9-0 win over Bournemouth. Jordan Henderson is likely to miss the game with injury, although Diogo Jota's return to training has been a welcome boost.
Reds the rightful favourites
Our friends at Opta tell us that Liverpool have lost just one of the last 23 PL Merseyside derbies, and that was a 2-0 defeat at Anfield in 2020 when the Reds were ravaged by injuries. They haven't lost at Goodison Park since 2010, and they won this fixture 4-1 last term.
However, I'm not sure I can get excited by Liverpool's price of 1.444/9 here in the Match Odds market.
The Reds have played poorly at Fulham (drew 2-2) and Manchester United (lost 2-1), and they don't have the same control of midfield without Thiago. Harvey Elliott is an excellent young player who is fast improving, but midfield is a concern, which is why Liverpool have moved to sign Juventus' Arthur on loan.
Instead of exploring the Match Odds market, I'll go for Both Teams To Score here at what I think is a generous 1.9210/11.
Liverpool have only kept one clean sheet in the league this term, and they have only managed two shut-outs in their last 10 top-flight outings. On the road, they have kept out the opposition just once in six PL games.
If you are keen to back Liverpool to win here, back them to win and Both Teams To Score on the Sportsbook, which boosts the odds significantly to 15/8.
Bobby can dazzle
In the absence of Jota and Nuñez, Roberto Firmino has risen to the occasion. He has delivered three goals and three assists in four league appearances, and he picked up some really smart positions against Newcastle, scoring a fine leveller.
His odds of scoring or assisting have been boosted to evens on the Sportsbook, and I think that's a fair price for a player in form.
Luis Diaz to have 1+ shots on target (was 1/3) now EVS - bet here!