Jurgen Klopp believes Everton can become a ‘proper challenger’ for Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.
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Talk about heaping pressure on your bitter rivals ahead of an eagerly anticipated Merseyside Derby on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30am ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
Klopp is a big fan of Carlo Ancelotti (who isn’t!?) and admitted he believed that Everton could turn things around once they hired the legendary Italian coach just under one year ago.
“You don’t need to be a manager to see they have done good business. Carlo is a sensational manager,” Klopp said. “When he has time to build, that is what he will do. This team looks really good. Of course, it is a proper challenger. We have to be ready for each of these games and tomorrow – in not even 24 hours – we can show that.”
Everton sit top of the Premier League table with four wins from four to start the season but this is their biggest test yet.
That dominated Tottenham on the opening day and have beaten West Brom, Crystal Palace and Brighton quite comfortably. Now, they face a team they haven’t beaten in their last 22 attempts in all competitions. And not just any team. Liverpool, their rivals who are less than a mile across Stanley Park and are the reigning Premier League champions.
With Alisson out injured and Liverpool a little shaky after their 7-2 hammering at the hands of Aston Villa before the break, for Everton this is a great time to be playing Liverpool. If there is ever a good time to play this incredibly talented squad.
The key battles here will be James Rodriguez against Fabinho in the little gaps in front of Liverpool’s defense, while Mohamed Salah against Lucas Digne and Dominic Calvert-Lewin against Virgil van Dijk will be box office.
Grab your popcorn for this Merseyside derby and many more to come.