Premier League LIVE: Klopp was roasted for GK transfer blunder — Everton’s was worse
Liverpool are hoping to bounce back from a historic 7-2 humiliation by Aston Villa a fortnight ago, but they’ll have to overcome top-of-the-table Everton in a mouth-watering Merseyside Derby on Saturday night.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees have reeled off four successive wins in a perfect start to the season, but Everton have not beaten Liverpool since 2010 – when Tim Cahill scored the opener – and finished 50 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s men last term.
Klopp has copped plenty of flak from Reds fans after deciding not to sign a new back-up goalkeeper to replace Adrian, who made a series of mistakes in the Aston Villa shellacking.
Liverpool had been strongly linked to veteran Stoke gloveman Jack Butland, who instead joined Crystal Palace for just £500,000 ($A911k).
And with first-choice keeper Alisson set to spend weeks on the sideline, Klopp will have his fingers and toes crossed that Adrian doesn’t cost his side a first derby defeat in a decade.
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Ancelotti said the match at Goodison Park will be a “good test” of his side’s progress.
“I think it will be good for us to have this kind of test. They are the best, they were the best last season and one of the best teams in the world, so it’s a fantastic challenge,” Ancelotti told reporters on Friday.
“The message for us is they are going to have an exciting game, it’s a derby. Be confident and be happy to play this game.
“I think the feeling in the dressing room is good. We’ve started really well, we know it will be a fantastic challenge.”
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Everton are three points above Liverpool and for once have the upper hand going into the derby, leaving fans dreaming of the period in the 1980s when the local rivals slugged it out for the title regularly.
Klopp is a longstanding admirer of Ancelotti after his success with Chelsea, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
And the German believes Everton are capable of sustaining their early-season success long enough to emerge as title contenders.
“I want to say thanks to him, to be a challenger for Liverpool could be really good for us,” Ancelotti said of Klopp’s compliment.
“Of course Liverpool is doing so well. We are, I think, not so far but still far from them. We can have a good test tomorrow against them to see how far we are.”
Liverpool welcome back Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara from coronavirus infections, but goalkeeper Alisson Becker remains sidelined by a shoulder injury.
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