Bragging rights and three crucial points hang in the balance at Anfield this Saturday lunchtime as Liverpool and Everton clash in their first Merseyside derby of the season.
Jurgen Klopp’s team is determined to avoid a third consecutive winless match in the top flight. They were defeated by Tottenham Hotspur in a frustrating match and settled for a 2-2 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion in their previous outing.
Nonetheless, the fourth-placed Reds have the opportunity to climb to the top of the Premier League table, if only temporarily. This chance comes as the Premier League returns following the international break, with Mohamed Salah returning to action after two games for Egypt without a goal or an assist.
The 31-year-old is no stranger to success in the Merseyside derby. Here, Sports Mole delves into his record against Liverpool’s fierce rivals.
Salah’s first encounter with Everton in the Premier League occurred during his forgettable stint at Chelsea. He was an unused substitute in two victories during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons before departing for Serie A.
However, upon his return to English football, Salah made an immediate impact against Everton. He scored on his first appearance against the Toffees, opening the scoring at Anfield in December 2017 before Wayne Rooney equalized for the visitors.
Yet, Salah was unable to participate in the return fixture at Goodison Park due to injury. He also failed to find the net in both meetings in the 2018-19 season and spent time on the bench in both derbies during Liverpool’s title-winning 2019-20 campaign.
Salah did score his first goal at Goodison Park in October 2020, but Liverpool was held to a 2-2 draw. In that match, Virgil van Dijk suffered a painful ACL injury.
In February 2021, Salah couldn’t prevent Liverpool from losing 2-0 at Anfield. However, his fortunes against Everton have since improved, with him either scoring or assisting in three of his last four encounters.
In December 2021, he scored twice in a 4-1 victory at Goodison Park. His second goal marked Liverpool’s 500th in the Premier League under Klopp and made him the first Reds player to directly contribute to a goal in seven consecutive league games.
Salah also provided a perfect cross for Andy Robertson to head home in a 2-0 victory at Anfield later that season. Although his form dipped in a goalless draw at Goodison last September, he bounced back with the opening goal in a 2-0 triumph in February.
Overall, Salah has a respectable record of five goals and one assist from nine Merseyside derby appearances, with four wins, four draws, and one loss, all in the Premier League.
After a hot start to the season, including scoring or assisting in his first six league matches, Salah’s streak was broken in the loss to Spurs last month. However, he quickly got back on track with a brace against Brighton. There’s no doubt he’s motivated to make a significant impact in Saturday’s highly anticipated clash.