“You don’t win anything with kids”
Nobody remembers Alan Hansen for his eight league titles but he’ll go down in history for this line about a United team that went on to dominate English football.
At Liverpool at the moment they have a few special kids coming through who could show him to be wrong again, and some of them might start this game on Sunday.
The two that stand out for me are Harvey Elliott and Ki-Jana Hoever. Together they are a combined age of James Milner and both have the talent to be top players. Elliott is very composed on the ball for a 16-year-old and Liverpool paying 7 million looks a steal now.
Hoever captained the Dutch side to victory in the U17s European Championship last summer. He’s full of pace, great going forward and a decent defender – so basically a younger Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Klopp should take the chance in this game to rest Alexander-Arnold and Robertson as they are pivotal to the way the team plays and have played a lot of minutes over the Christmas period. Van Dijk may not be risked either so you may see a makeshift Liverpool back four.
I’d expect Everton to go full strength as they don’t have much else to play for this season as they are safe in the league and competing in no other cups. It looks like Dominic Calvert-Lewin has improved already under Ancelotti, grabbing two goals in Ancelotti’s first pair of games. He’ll carry the threat against a changed Liverpool defence.
You only have to look back the Liverpool v Arsenal game in the Carabao Cup to see how shaky the Reds are without their starting back four.
On that night they played a back four of Milner, Van den Berg, Gomez and Williams and conceded five. They scraped through on penalties but that performance should give Everton encouragement.
This will also be a first chance to see new signing Takumi Minamino in red. He may even start this game and, at £7million, he could be another coup for Michael Edwards and his analytics team.
In both games against Liverpool in the Champions League he impressed, especially at Anfield where he got a goal and an assist. With his work rate, pace and technical ability he looks a real bargain.
3364 days, 481 weeks, 100 months, 80,763 hours, 4,844,160 minutes or 290,649,600 seconds – no, that’s not the last time I pulled, it’s how long it’s been since Everton beat Liverpool!
That dry spell should continue in this. The game is a Sunday evening on the BBC, you’re probably smashed after Christmas so sit back, relax and enjoy watching Liverpool’s kids beat Everton AGAIN.
And before all that back Liverpool to win and both teams to score at 21/10 or thereabouts.
Keep an eye on that team news beforehand too because it’s worth getting involved on Tom Davies to be carded if he starts the game.
He’s got six cards in 15 league games this season, a run that includes three in the last four games.
He hasn’t got the mobility of a top player and it also doesn’t help when you have the first touch of a statue. I’ve seen milk turn quicker than him. it’s worth taking the 2/1 on him to be booked.