Liverpool will travel to Everton, their local rivals in the Premier League. Thiago and Virgil van Dijk return to Goodison Park after suffering major injuries last season.
17 October 2020: The day Liverpool’s Premier League title defense began to unravel.
Reds fans will not be returning to Goodison Park’s Merseyside derby draw in Merseyside for a quick visit. This is mainly because of two terrible injuries and two dropped points.
Virgil van Dijk, first, was flogged by Jordan Pickford in Everton’s penalty area in the early stages. The magnitude of the injury to his right knee was not known until he limped off.
Thiago’s great start to Anfield was stopped by Richarlison, who lunged at Thiago on his knees in the closing seconds. Richarlison was given a straight Red Card for his recklessness.
Jordan Henderson’s additional-time winner capped a poor match in which Liverpool lost the lead twice.
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The true cost of the draw at 2-2 was only revealed after the dust settled.
Liverpool confirmed Van Dijk will not play in the 2020/21 campaign, as Pickford’s challenge had torn his anterior Cruciate ligament.
The Reds’ most-important player, the Dutchman, was operated on later in the month. As feared, he would not be back until the following season.
Thiago suffered a knee injury that would eventually leave him disabled for more than two months, up to late December.
The Spaniard would only be able to regain his best form towards end of season. Liverpool suffered the most severe injury crisis of their recent past as Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, and Van Dijk went to the treatment room.
The Reds, now exhausted, lost their unbeaten home record to Burnley, and then, shockingly, fell in five of their subsequent games at Anfield in the early 2021.
To make matters worse, Everton won 2-0 at Liverpool in February to capitalize on their rivals’ crisis. This was their first Anfield win since 1999.
The situation was dire and Liverpool fell to eighth. However, Klopp managed to pull off one of his greatest managerial feats by leading Liverpool to a fourth-placed finish. There were a lot of wins at the business end.
Van Dijk’s pre-season return helped the Reds to a level start and they have 13 games under their belts. They appear well placed to compete with Manchester City and Chelsea for the title.
Their tall centre-back is back at his imperious best. Meanwhile, something exciting is happening in the midfield.
Thiago could play in the middle against Everton. Below, pick your Liverpool XI!
Thiago is now able to replicate his stunning Bayern Munich performances in Liverpool’s two remaining games. He has also developed a wonderful relationship with Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, and Jordan Henderson.
Van Dijk and Henrik do not appear to be carrying the weight of their serious injuries at Goodison Park a year back.