Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is “pretty sure” new signing Darwin Nunez will not lash out again if targeted by Everton players on Saturday.
The Uruguay striker, 23, is available for the Merseyside derby after serving a three-match suspension.
Nunez was sent off on his home debut last month for headbutting Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen.
“Will it never happen again? I don’t know, but I am pretty sure nothing will happen in the next game,” said Klopp.
After Nunez was sent off for just the second time in his career, Klopp spoke to the former Benfica forward about not letting opposing defenders antagonise him.
“He is a wonderful young man but he has emotions as well,” Klopp said. “He made a mistake but we didn’t speak for the full 15 days about it, telling him ‘you have to calm down’.
“How we want to think in these situations is that we pay back with football,” the German coach added.
“If Darwin plays then he has to be ready for these things. When a player is talking to you a lot or is really physical, then he is not in his own game, and he [Nunez] has to use these kind of moments as well.
“If the other one is too busy wanting to distract him, you just have to use it from a football point of view.
“For the Crystal Palace game, when the defender is searching for this constant contact, then go from there and you decide when you start the movement.”
Everton forward Neil Maupay is set to make his debut after he was ineligible for the draw at Leeds United, while new arrival Idrissa Gueye may also feature.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure are back in training but not yet available.
Liverpool welcome back Darwin Nunez following suspension, while Diogo Jota has returned to training.
Jordan Henderson is sidelined after being substituted with a hamstring issue in the win over Newcastle United and Liverpool are still waiting to find out the full extent of the injury.
New loan signing Arthur is not expected to receive international clearance until Saturday, but Jurgen Klopp hopes he will be available to face Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday.
CHRIS SUTTON’S PREDICTION
Everton haven’t won a game yet and they are not going to start here. They’ve got Idrissa Gueye back and Neal Maupay should be available, but Liverpool won comfortably at Goodison last season. I don’t think it will be easy for them but I expect them to come out of the right side of it.
Mo Salah hasn’t got going yet and Liverpool really need to find a consistency, which they are working hard to get through at the minute, but I think they will have too much quality, even though Everton will be super aggressive at Goodison.
Chris Sutton’s full predictions v rapper Juice Menace
- Everton have won just one of their last 23 Premier League games against Liverpool, a 2-0 victory at Anfield in February 2021.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 11 league games away to Everton (W3, D8) since a 2-0 loss in October 2010.
- The Reds can win back-to-back fixtures at Goodison Park for the first time since a run of three victories between 2007 and 2009.
- Everton have won four of the last five Premier League Merseyside derbies when they scored the opening goal (losing the other), but those five games cover a 17-year period from 2004 to 2021.
- The Toffees’ current run of 11 Premier League home matches without a win versus Liverpool is their longest in the top flight at Goodison against a single opponent.
- The Merseyside derby has seen an unrivalled 22 red cards in the Premier League era.
- Everton could draw four successive Premier League games for the first time since a run of four ended in November 2012, a sequence which included a 2-2 home draw with Liverpool.
- The Toffees are averaging five shots on target per game in the Premier League this season, their highest since 2016-17 and up from their average of 3.6 last season.
- In 2022, all six of Everton’s Premier League defeats at Goodison Park have been by a single-goal margin (four 1-0, two 3-2). The most recent club to win a top-flight away fixture versus the Toffees by more than one goal were Liverpool, in the 4-1 victory last season.
- The Blues can remain winless in each of their opening three home matches for the first time since 2014-15 under Roberto Martinez.
- Frank Lampard has lost all four of his Premier League meetings with Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, with his sides conceding at least two goals each time.
- Lampard has had 80 Premier League matches as a manager (57 for Chelsea, 23 for Everton). He picked up 69 points in his first 40 games, but only 49 points in the 40 fixtures since.
- Anthony Gordon, 21, can become the youngest Everton player to score in three consecutive Premier League games since Romelu Lukaku did so aged 20 in October 2013 and the youngest Englishman since 19-year-old Francis Jeffers in September 2000.
- Seamus Coleman is set for his 18th Premier League appearance in Merseyside derbies, equalling the Everton record held by Tim Howard, Tony Hibbert, Leighton Baines and Leon Osman.
- Liverpool have scored 40 winning goals in the 90th minute in the Premier League, 12 more than any other side.
- They are yet to win on the road this season, having won seven of their last eight away from home in the league in 2021-22.
- Liverpool could lose consecutive Premier League away fixtures for the first time since February 2017 (2-0 at Hull City and 3-1 at Leicester City).
- The Reds last failed to win any of their first three away league games in a single campaign in 2010, when they went four without a win under Roy Hodgson.
- Liverpool have scored in 52 of their last 53 Premier League matches. The exception was a 1-0 defeat at Leicester City on 28 December 2021.
- Three of Mohamed Salah’s four Premier League goals for Liverpool against Everton have come at Goodison Park. Only Michael Owen, with four, has scored more away goals for the Reds against the Toffees in the competition.
- Salah has scored 144 goals and assisted 49 in the Premier League since making his debut in February 2014. During this period Raheem Sterling is the only player to reach 100 goals and 50 assists (107 goals, 53 assists) despite Salah spending two and a half seasons in Serie A.
- Darwin Nunez can become the second player to score in both of his first two Premier League away appearances for Liverpool, emulating Jan Molby in August 1992.
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