Can Everton FINALLY end their Liverpool hoodoo at Anfield?
Everton have not won at Anfield in the Premier League since 1999 despite 20 attempts… but having tasted victory in more away games than home matches this season, can Carlo Ancelotti’s men FINALLY end their Liverpool hoodoo?
- Everton have not won in the Premier League at Anfield since September 1999
- Liverpool have won 11 and drawn nine in the league at Anfield since the defeat
- Just three points separate the sides ahead of the 204th Merseyside derby
- So can Carlo Ancelotti’s men make it eight league away wins this season?
Liverpool have dominated proceedings against Merseyside rivals Everton in the two most recent decades, but the latest Premier League instalment of the derby could throw up the most thrilling encounter between the two sides for years.
Not since September 1999 have the Toffees recorded a top-flight victory at Anfield, when Kevin Campbell scored in the fourth minute to net the only goal of the game.
The game also saw Steven Gerrard’s first career red card but his former side have ruled the roost against Everton since then in an unbeaten run at Anfield, winning 11 and drawing the other nine top-flight clashes.
Everton have not beaten Liverpool at Anfield since a 1-0 win against their rivals in 1999
Kevin Campbell was the hero that day but they have not won there in the next 20 attempts
However, the two sides are separated by just three points ahead of Saturday’s game, with Liverpool currently sat in sixth on 40 points and on a three-match losing streak in the league, while Everton sit one place below and have already won at Tottenham and Leicester and drawn with Manchester United at Old Trafford this season.
So what do the statistics tell us about why Everton appear to have been better away from Goodison Park than on home turf?
Which areas could they look to exploit Jurgen Klopp’s men following their recent home reverses to Burnley, Brighton and Manchester City? Sportsmail takes a closer look ahead of the 204th top-flight Merseyside derby…
But can Carlo Ancelotti (left) inspire his side to pick up their eighth away league win this term?
Everton’s torrid record at Anfield
Everton have failed to win any of the last 23 Merseyside derbies in all competitions, 20 of which have been in the Premier League – exacerbating their worst ever run in this fixture.
And statistics from Opta demonstrate the extent to which the Toffees have struggled historically against Liverpool on their short journeys to Anfield.
Of the 28 games they have played at Liverpool since the Premier League’s inception in February 1992, Everton have won just twice, with the other victory a 2-1 win in November 1995.
The remaining 26 fixtures can be broken down into 12 stalemates and 14 defeats, seeing the Toffees returning to Goodison Park with a modest 18 points from those games.
Everton have won just two of their 28 top-flight fixtures at Anfield, conceding 45 goals in them
The blue half of Merseyside have scored just 20 away Premier League goals in this fixture, while conceding more than double that with Liverpool having found the net on 45 occasions.
That leaves them with a points-per-game ratio of 0.64 from their visits to Anfield, which is a stuttering return compared with some of the other Premier League regulars’ records in recent years.
Manchester United top the charts, having won 43 points from 29 top-flight Anfield contests for a points-per-game average of 1.49, while Aston Villa’s stands at 0.92 having collected 23 points – including six wins – on Liverpool’s home ground.
Arsenal and Chelsea have collected 26 and 25 points respectively from Anfield in 29 and 28 matches, while Southampton’s 0.71 points-per-game average also trumps Everton’s having won 15 points from 21 games.
The Toffees have returned to Goodison Park with a modest 18 points from those games
The regular defeats at Anfield have Everton with a particularly unsightly goal difference of -25 from these games.
Only four Premier League sides – namely Newcastle, West Ham, Arsenal and Tottenham – have a worse goal difference at Anfield, and while those sides have conceded more than the Toffees’ 45, three of them have also scored more than their 20.
However, through the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, Carlo Ancelotti’s current side have provided more of a goal threat, albeit only Arsenal have scored fewer goals of sides sat in the top half of the table at the time of writing.
But the Toffees have a formidable away record this season, winning seven and losing just two of their 11 fixtures away from Goodison Park in 2020-21.
So what do the numbers say about their away form in comparison to their home record in the current campaign?
But the Toffees have a formidable away record this season, bettered only by three sides
Shining on the road
It has been one of the more noticeable trends of Everton’s season, but it appears the Toffees in particular are faltering under home pressure despite the absence of fans.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have won just a quarter of their home fixtures this term, including surprise recent reverses by Fulham and Newcastle, which constitute two of the six top-flight matches which have ended in defeat for them at Goodison Park.
However, as a sort of microcosm of what appears to be happening in the league with away sides enjoying as much – if not more – success than when at home, Everton have experienced more joy on their travels.
Seven of their 11 Premier League wins this season have come on the road, scoring 18 goals and conceding 13 in the process, while they have only been on the end of defeats on their away trips in their back-to-back losses at Southampton and Newcastle in late October and early November.
Seven of Everton’s 11 league wins this season have come away from Goodison Park
As a matter of fact, only the current top three – the two Manchester clubs and Leicester – have claimed more points on the road than the Toffees’ 23, and it has stood them in good stead in qualifying for Europe next season.
The Toffees have still scored goals at home, with 17 coming from their 12 games, but the difference comes at the back where they have let opposition sides score 20 goals.
So where do the statistics show Everton have been sharper on the road? Well as you might expect given the most recent number highlighted, they have faced fewer shots and shots on target on their travels.
Having played one more game at home, Everton have faced a total of 169 shots, but that figure decreases by 40 when looking at Ancelotti’s sides overall total away from home.
There is also a drop when comparing shots on target, with goalkeepers Jordan Pickford and Robin Olsen facing 55 shots on target so far this campaign at Goodison Park, but just 44 on their travels.
Jordan Pickford and the defence have faced fewer shots on target away rather than at home
The statistic is reinforced by the drop in expected goals against, which drops by five away from home compared to the 18.9 at home, with the expected goals per game figure decreasing from 1.6 to 1.3.
They have been more efficient on the road at the other end of the field too. On home soil, just 44 of their 118 shots have been on target, while that number rises to 49 from 107 on away days. The shot conversion rate also rises from 14.4 at home to 16.8 away.
That and the quality of chances they appear to create means their expected goals ratio is also higher, with the figure standing at 13.3 on home turf but rising to 15 away from Goodison Park.
So is the their style of play behind the contrast? The Toffees have not really looked to dominate the game with possession either at or away from home, recording average possession figures of below 50 per cent.
All 20 Premier League sides’ away records so far this season, with Everton currently in fourth
That is not to say Ancelotti lacks technically-gifted midfielders in the middle of the park, with Andre Gomes and James Rodriguez leading the way for the club in that sense and contributing to an average passing accuracy in the low 80s.
But it appears that Everton’s tactic at home is to feed the aerial power of Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, and attempt to dominate opposition defences physically.
Everton have delivered 55 crosses altogether at Goodison Park from open play or from corners which have been successful, but that figure drops to 32 when on their travels.
Consequently, the Toffees have had 29 headed attempts at home, but just 13 have been attempted away, albeit their efficiency is better on the road with four having been scored compared with six on home soil.
Richarlison (right) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (second from right) have made them efficient
Where can Everton look to exploit Liverpool?
While Everton’s away form has been pretty consistent minus an early-season blip, Liverpool’s home form has suffered drastically in recent weeks.
The defeat by Burnley saw the Reds suffer their first league defeat at Anfield since April 2017, and while many expected Jurgen Klopp’s men to recover from the blow, it has not quite materialised.
An equally shocking defeat followed at Brighton, before Manchester City delivered a masterclass in a 4-1 win a fortnight ago.
Those two more recent defeats were then compounded by a loss to Leicester City last weekend, meaning they have now suffered reverses in three straight league games for the first time since 2014.
Jurgen Klopp’s sides are on their worst run since 2014 having suffered three straight defeats
Their recent domestic form therefore could not be at a lower point, and Everton will hope their slump in form can result in a league victory.
But to do that, Ancelotti could be faced with a slight dilemma as to his approach at Anfield.
The tactic of delivering crosses is one which Ancelotti believes is worth persisting with, and with Calvert-Lewin scoring five of his 13 league goals this season with his head there is clearly some merit to it.
The temptation to deploy that style of play should Calvert-Lewin be fit could well be heightened by Alisson’s blunder for Jamie Vardy’s goal in the 3-1 defeat the King Power Stadium, just a week after he had made two errors leading to City goals.
Alisson is therefore unlikely to relish an aerial duel against Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison with such low confidence and without the commanding presence of Virgil van Dijk – who was injured in the reverse fixture earlier this season – in front of him.
Ancelotti meanwhile could look to use Calvert-Lewin’s aerial presence at Anfield
However, fewer crosses and headers at goal, combined with better efficiency in front of goal away from home, suggest lumping the ball into the forwards may not turn out to be the most efficient policy in creating chances.
Liverpool new boy Ozan Kabak and captain Jordan Henderson are forming the current partnership at the heart of defence, and while Leicester do not possess the greatest aerial threat, they were nonetheless defeated by the pace and trickery of James Maddison, Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes.
Therefore, not necessarily preparing an aerial game plan and instead relying on ruthless efficiency from the chances they do create and have created through the likes of Rodriguez innately to suffice is another viable option.
Ancelotti will also hope his side can replicate their defensive displays and not allow the Reds a significant number of shots on target, with the four they have averaged the same number as Burnley and Brighton conceded in their wins at Anfield.
Liverpool will expect to dominate possession, but the statistic show if Everton can reproduce what has made them so successful on the road this season and test a goalkeeper lacking confidence and apply ruthless touches in front of goal while keeping it tight at the back, they may well be able to claim that highly-coveted win in their arch rivals’ backyard.
Alisson is low on confidence after blunders against both Leicester and Manchester City
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article