Rafa Benitez should worry about timing of Liverpool trip to Everton

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Everton ahead of the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton at Molineux on November 01, 2021 in Wolverhampton, England.


Like previous seasons, Liverpool are entering their groove as the hectic festive period begins to gather pace in the Premier League.

With just two points between the Reds and leaders Chelsea, it is all up for grabs as games come thick and fast.

In Liverpool’s title-winning season of 2019-20, they came into their own in December and opened up a huge lead at the top of the table.

And much like the current campaign, it all started with a Merseyside Derby.

Back on December 4, 2019, Liverpool ran out 5-2 winners at Anfield, a result which marked the end of Marco Silva's spell as Everton manager.

But more importantly, it was the sixth straight victory in a remarkable run of 18 successive wins in the Premier League for the Reds.

By the time Liverpool did drop points - a 3-0 defeat at Watford on February 29, 2020 - they were already 22 points clear at the top.

It's tighter this time around with Manchester City, as well as Chelsea, currently in the mix.

But a win at Goodison Park on Wednesday could be the catalyst for a fruitful Christmas for the Reds as they enter the busiest month of the season just two points off the top of the summit.

Liverpool were in danger of falling behind after defeat at West Ham United before the international break.

But back-to-back 4-0 home wins over Arsenal and Southampton have moved the Reds within touching distance.

Fortunes have changed for Klopp as his midfield options were looking limited due to injuries in that department but the return of Thiago Alcantara has been a huge benefit.

The Spaniard is one of the most talented midfielders currently in the Premier League and a run of games in the starting XI will have a huge impact on Liverpool’s fortunes.

As seen against Southampton on Saturday, Thiago and Fabinho in the middle of the pitch is quickly becoming a formidable partnership, and the Reds are yet to taste defeat with the duo lining up together.

A familiar figure in Rafa Benitez awaits on Wednesday as Liverpool travel across Stanley Park.

And the Reds could pile the pressure on their former manager, who's now in charge of Everton, if they were to come away with the three points.

That's just what Liverpool did in December 2016, when Sadio Mane scored a dramatic injury-time winner, but that was topped at Anfield in December 2018 when Divock Origi headed home in the 96th minute to spark scenes of unbridled joy in the stands.

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