Everton vs Liverpool: Three battles that'll decide the game


However the clash with Everton is likely to come too soon for him, with Klopp insisting that he will not risk the Reds' talisman just because of the occasion.

The Reds enjoyed most of the possession for the remainder of the first stanza but they failed to carve out another chance as the sides went into the break goalless.

With half-time approaching, Bolasie was jeered by frustrated home fans when his misplaced pass gifted the ball to Danny Ings, but the Liverpool player was unable to make anything of it.

While he says he understands the passion of a local rivalry, he believes Everton have not always played the game fairly in his time at Anfield.

"I don't expect perfection or rhythm, but I expect joy, excitement, having fun in a game like this, being ready to work, and they all will be".

Wayne Rooney will be eager for a big performance against a big rival and build on his ten goals for the season.

In a heated fixture that holds a record for the most red cards (21) in English top-flight history, the home side have been shown 14 of those. Congratulations for the great Premier League they are doing?

For Everton, however, one particular transaction stands conspicuously in the limelight.

The first half was a quiet affair at Goodison, as Liverpool looked to counter the hostile atmosphere with sustained possession and a steady build up in their attacking play.

Elsewhere there's a place for Ragnar Klavan, who replaces Andrew Robertson at left-back, while Nathaniel Clyne makes his first start of the season at Trent Alexander-Arnold's expense. The Liverpool boss will have to slowly integrate these players lacking match sharpness into his plans.

Should Jose Mourinho's side by any chance win their derby and stop Manchester City claiming the title later on Saturday, they will open up a four-point gap to Jurgen Klopp's side and retain a game in hand.

Ahead of the match Mourinho said "City will be champions because they deserve to be champions" and that their quality has made it "impossible" for the likes of United to win. Yet with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich widely expected to make up the other semi-finalists, Klopp will be aware his team would be the outsiders to win the trophy.