The Premier League returns today as Liverpool take on Everton in the first Merseyside derby of the season. The Toffees go into the match top of the table as they look to end a decade of hurt against the champions.
And Everton have been handed an unlikely boost by Jamie Carragher who claims Roberto Firmino should be absent for the Reds.
The forward has been travelling around the world due to being on international duty with Brazil.
Carragher thinks that will mean Jurgen Klopp opts for someone different in attack meaning the likes of Divock Origi or Diogo Jota could start at Goodison Park.
Carlo Ancelotti will hope for a big win against Liverpool and underline Everton’s credentials as a top four side.
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Carragher told the Liverpool Echo: “It’s very difficult to prepare and the big issue for Liverpool is it’s the Saturday morning game.
“So there’s no real training for Roberto Firmino who has been away with Brazil, I am quite sure he will play with it being a Saturday game.
“I think he won’t get back to Liverpool until Thursday night and will have just the one training session, so I don’t think he’ll play.
“So it’s not easy but it is the same for everyone, but it’s not easy on the back of a loss as a manager you’re sat there trying to get it off your mind but you can’t because you can’t speak to the players with the things you want to go through.
“To be honest, I think it’ll be very difficult to go through the Aston Villa game, I think you’ve just got to go through the Everton game really.
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“And just in some ways, because it was two weeks ago, just forget it happened. But no, I think the focus will be straight onto the Everton game, really.”
Carragher believes Liverpool will bounce back against Everton following their 7-2 humbling at the hands of Aston Villa before the international break.
“It’s embarrassing really for Liverpool, really,” Carragher explained.
“I always felt when I was a player that there was nothing worse than having a bad result just before an international break.
“There was so long to stew on it. I would like to think Liverpool will be a wounded animal and show a reaction. Top teams do and this is a top team so I fully expect a reaction.
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“It doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the result but it does need to be much improved as [the Villa game] fell way below the standards this team have set which has been phenomenal.
“I think the last 80 games before the Aston Villa game they had lost four which is scary when you think about it.
“So you have to almost accept the odd defeat now again but it was the manner of it that I think disappointed Liverpool supporters.
“I fully expect them to perform. Liverpool are a better team than Everton, I think Everton know that and if Liverpool play well, they will win. But there’s no doubt it’s a much improved Everton.”
Everton vs Liverpool in the first Merseyside derby takes place at 12.30pm as the Premier League returns.
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