Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side have so far exceeded pre-season expectations, scoring 100% at Anfield across all competitions – though Klopp knows there will still be more expected as the season unfolds.
Liverpool are in great form heading into this historic Merseyside derby against Everton – winning 17 out of 17 meetings against Everton since Jurgen Klopp took charge, only losing once during 25 league derbies (at home or away).
Liverpool faces many challenges on defense, particularly following Andy Robertson’s shoulder injury and loss for up to three months. Everton, on the other hand, has struggled with scoring more than once per Premier League match over the last year; yet their overall improvement combined with three victories in their last four matches suggests they may take advantage of any post-international fatigue Liverpool may experience post-World Cup; Klopp acknowledges Everton and Sean Dyche manager as formidable challenges.
“Everton are in a good moment,” he said. “Dyche’s Burnley teams were notoriously difficult opponents; this can be seen time after time with different players on their squad.” We have to be ready for second ball fights, runs in behind, a compact defense. It will be a tough one. Burnley games were always tough. Football understanding, patience and commitment must all be present as we take up the fight.”
What Klopp desires most from his Liverpool side is consistency throughout the entire 90 minutes of a Premier League game. While they showed glimpses of their dominant best against Aston Villa, there have been lapses in other games. Klopp attributes some of the instability to this summer’s midfield rebuild.
“Yes, it is [a factor], but we’ve also changed between games quite a lot because of the amount of games, and we’ve been interrupted by international breaks twice now,” he explained. “On an established team, it doesn’t make that much of a difference as we become much more acquainted. However, as an unsteady group we must become consistent over time.”
Liverpool’s attack, spearheaded by Mohamed Salah, has been on point, while their defense has been suspect. Klopp emphasizes that they have not compromised resilience for an offensive approach.
“My approach to team-building starts on the defensive side,” he stated. “I’m not sure it’s possible again nowadays when you’re in the middle of something. Imagine we kept clean sheets without creating. There’s always time to work on these things when new to a club; especially when things were below-average before your arrival and you find yourself 14th on the ladder.
As Liverpool prepares to face Everton after a two-week break, Klopp understands the importance of adapting quickly and maintaining their momentum.
After facing trials at Tottenham and experiencing frustration against Brighton, Klopp needs his Liverpool side to embrace the intensity of the Merseyside derby when they return home. In this pivotal fixture, they hope to showcase the consistency that Klopp desires and stay in the hunt for Premier League glory.