Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Everton v Liverpool FC

Mark Lawrenson is tipping Liverpool FC to get the better of their former manager Rafael Benitez and his Everton side

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp (Photo: New Balance)

Mark Lawrenson is backing Liverpool FC’s “sheer quality” to prove the difference against Everton in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Wednesday night.

The Reds were 4-0 winners against Southampton at Anfield on Saturday after Diogo Jota scored twice in the first half before Thiago Alcantara and Virgil van Dijk sealed three points.

Liverpool FC have won their last three games in all competitions to bounce back impressively from their first defeat of the 2021-22 season at West Ham United last month.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have scored two goals or more in all but one of their 13 games in the Premier League this season as Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane continue to shine in attack.

Everton have struggled to build upon a positive start to the season under Rafael Benitez and the Toffees have lost five of their last six top-flight games.

The former Liverpool FC manager finds his Everton side in 14th place in the table and six points above the relegation zone after a torrid run for the Toffees.

BBC Sport pundit Lawrenson is tipping Liverpool FC to ease to a straightforward victory over their derby rivals at Goodison Park on Wednesday night.

“This was the game where Virgil van Dijk got injured last season so if it is possible to have any more spice than a normal derby, Wednesday night will be it,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“However you look at the game, Liverpool have to be favourites. Everton have not won since the end of September and when I watched them against Brentford on Sunday, they never ever really looked like scoring. The Bees could even have won by another goal or two.

“Benitez will be hoping his defensive block will hold out, but I don’t see it – especially when Everton have got so little to offer at the other end. They won’t be able to give themselves a breather during the game, when I think they will need one.

“Quite often going into these derby games, I think it doesn’t matter whether teams are at the top or bottom of the table because they feel so different but, this time, the sheer quality of Liverpool means I cannot see them creating chances without taking some of them.”

Liverpool FC were held to a 2-2 draw with Everton in this fixture last season after Mane was denied a last-minute winner due to an offside decision by VAR.

The fixture proved to be decisive in Liverpool FC’s season as Van Dijk suffered a season-ending knee injury following a reckless challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Liverpool FC struggled without Van Dijk for the rest of the 2020-21 season as Klopp’s side ended up in third spot.

The Reds will travel to Wolves on Saturday before Everton host Arsenal on Monday night.

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