It’s an odd Merseyside derby! A clash between two teams separated by 47 points and 15 places in the table as one competes for the title and the other to stave off relegation. Without a doubt, the stakes will be high when red hot Liverpool visit Everton in a Premier League encounter at Goodison Park on Sunday evening [17h30].

The Red side of town is chasing the league title and can’t afford any slipups, while the Blue side is desperate to avoid the relegation axe. This can only be a recipe for a potentially explosive Derby. The FARPost Technical Study Group (TSG) runs the rule over the Derby.

1. Liverpool’s tactical approach 

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have been in devastating form. Renowned for a high-octane playing style, Klopp has added new dimensions to this side. As abrasive and intensity driven, Liverpool have transformed into a highly efficient tactical machine.

Klopp still prefers a 1-4-3-3 tactical structure. But, the rotation in the attacking third has been significant. The recent front three of Mohammed Salah, Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane have all occupied different attacking positions from left, right and centre with excellent results.

Sadio Mane has been remarkable

2. ‘Scintillating’ Mane

The maturity of Mane has been remarkable. Mane has transferred the national team (Senegal) form to club form. His ability to stay composed and creative at both levels reveals a top international player with pedigree and peaking at the right moment.

Furthermore, Mane has consistently delivered goals at crucial periods in matches. This scoring niche has now been complemented by sizable maturity to create goals for others.

3. ‘Impeccable’ Thiago 

Thiago Alcantara is a midfield genius. Sophisticated, intricate and genius are some of the words reserved for the Spanish midfielder. His composure, guile and deft touches propel him to the upper echelons of midfield geniuses of his generation.

Thiago was untouchable in the 4-0 humiliation of bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield. He controlled the proceedings from deep and central corridors with relative ease. So unplayable was Thiago that he seamlessly encroached into the attacking zones without resistance to stamp his impeccable talent.

4. Goodison Park cemetery?

Everton needs a result in this derby match. Their inconsistent form and lack of technical impetus have not helped either. A destabilising technical leadership has resulted in Frank Lampard replacing Rafael Benitez. Lampard has galvanised his troops to soldier on under very challenging circumstances to his credit.

Derbies naturally provide oxygen to all sets of players. The electric atmosphere anticipated at Goodison Park should instil some belief in the Everton troops. Playing at home must bring a competitive advantage to Everton, as a loss to the marauding Liverpool will establish Goodison Park as a football cemetery.

Alex Iwobi carries the hopes of Everton

5. Verdict

Everton has the players to trouble Liverpool. Richarlison, Demarai Gray and Alex Iwobi are a few talented stars who can lead ‘The Toffees’. Complemented by a supportive crowd, the technical team and players must surely deliver on this occasion.

Still, Liverpool are in scintillating form on all fronts. Their form comes at the right time – the business end of the championship. Liverpool are arguably the best team on the planet and, bar any mishaps on the day should collect the three points on the road.

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