Everton welcome Liverpool at Goodison Park on Sunday as the Premier League resumes and Carlo Ancelotti will be looking at nothing less than three points from this game.
The Toffees are currently 12th on the league table and under they are yet to find their peak form under their Italian boss and according to Charlie Nicholas, Ancelotti will have to get a couple of things right if he intends to get one of their local rivals.
The pundit told Sky Sports: “Everton were humiliated by a young Liverpool side in the FA Cup.
“Everton probably should have won that game but they didn’t, and the Evertonians were disgraced and embarrassed. There is no way that even without fans, players will not be aware of what is going on and what is at stake here. They will be up for it.
“With Man City, you saw it took them a bit of time to get going, against an Arsenal side with the strength of plasticine.
“Liverpool will get into gear, but referees in the Bundesliga have been giving cards out more frequently, as they are not under pressure from fans. Everton will get at them and get in their face.
“They need to stop the balls through to front three and into Roberto Firmino. I could see it being riddled with mistakes with the combination of some quality.
“How high will Everton allow Liverpool’s full-backs to play? That is the key for Liverpool. Will Richarlison work back and will Carlo Ancelotti have blockers in place for both of those? Everton will play a cautious and physical game.
“They both need a game in their system but I am expecting a thrill of a Sunday night match.”
Can Everton trouble Liverpool?
Liverpool will obviously tread cautiously given that this is their first game after the resumption but we don’t think Everton can cause enough trouble to inflict a defeat.
Former Arsenal man Ian Wright thinks Liverpool will have an easier time on the pitch than their previous visits to Goodison due to the fact that the match will be played inside an empty stadium.
Speaking on the Kelly and Wrighty Show, he said, as reported: “It’s going to be a lot easier for Liverpool.
“You haven’t got to go there and deal with all the stick. There’s no-one there for you to be afraid of. There’s no-one there who is going to give you that kind of stick that makes you get an adrenaline buzz in your stomach. I’m looking forward to seeing it because it’s one of the great derbies around the world…and there is no-one there.
“This will show that these derbies, as much as they are magnificent, are just another game without the fans.”
If Liverpool manage to pick up a win on Sunday then they will need just one more win to wrap up the Premier League title.