Liverpool is extremely close to claiming Premier League title for the first time in 30 years and at this point, it rather seems to be a question of when not if.
If it wasn't for Covid we would already have the answers to but a lot has changed since mid-March teams with new managers had a chance to get better accustomed to their managerial styles, injured players had time to get back in shape and 3 months break from competitive soccer allowed some well deserved rest to all first squad players.
Jurgen Klopp has had a tough time against Carlo Ancelotti in the past and arguably Ancelotti is the biggest threat to Klopp's record vs Ancelotti as Liverpool manager is not too favorable. Klopp beat Ancelotti 2 he has lost to him 2 (both times as Napoli manager) and once there was a draw.
Carlo Ancelotti is an excellent manager with years of experience and privilege to manage some of the best clubs in Europe.
Everton may be a step down from his standards of Real Madrid, or Chelsea but Everton is currently considered as an underdog team and with Ancelotti as their managers some teams that would waltz over Everton in the past will have to think twice about their strategy.
Jurgen Klopp in his recent interview with Liverpool FC acknowledges the treat of Ancelotti and he was very diplomatic in answering Sam Williams' question about Everton match up.
Everton took one point from their last three matches before the break - can you take that form into consideration in your preparations?
"No. Look, when you analyze Everton now you have to look as well to Napoli or any other team because Carlo Ancelotti has a specific way he wants his team to play and he is long enough there now to push that through. So, it will be a football-playing side, they will play as much football as we let them. We have to find challenges, win challenges, use gaps, find gaps, and all that stuff. We have to play through, we have to be 100 percent disciplined."
Liverpool is arguably a better team and on paper they should easily win vs Everton but 3 months of break and derby rivalry can do a lot to make life of LFC players very difficult on Sunday.
Goodison Park will be very different from how it is usually due to factors such as there not being any fans present. How will different environments affect the occasion?
"We will see. If you measure it and compare it with the perfect situation, how it would be usually, then you think, ‘Oh, that’s different and that’s different’, but we know that already. We’ve done pre-activation with the players now for three weeks and pretty much everything happens in a tent if you are not on the pitch. So far we were not allowed to use the dressing rooms, so using the dressing rooms could be allowed from Saturday but in a different way, but yes, we can change inside, we can change at home. So Sunday then, yes things will be different but we try to make it as complicated as possible for us in our preparation [so] we arrive there and are not surprised. We are happy that we are allowed to change and allowed to play, and all the rest we take like it is."
In addition, new rules such as 5 subs will also add an extra level of tactical prowess to the remaining season. "No" VAR already robbed a team of a clear goal and 3 points yesterday in Aston Villa v Sheffield Utd game.
I will not make any predictions on how the game should go because there are so many factors that can influence the game especially now after the league restart. That being said, top teams in different leagues still seem to keep the edge over their competitors. Dortmund dominated 4-0 vs Schalke, Barcelona obliterated Mallorca with the same Margin in their restart debut games and just yesterday Manchester City beat arguably a much tougher opponent Arsenal 3-0.
So if Liverpool will follow the pattern of other big dogs in Europe they should snatch those 3 points in Goodison Park and if they manage to beat Crystal Palace (don't want to jinx it but I am sure you remember Crystal Palace vs Liverpool game 3-3 from May 5th, 2014) at home in week 31 they will be crowned Premier League Champions after 30 long years.
So is Jurgen Klopp ready for Everton this time around?