Liverpool are champions of England but Everton go into this weekend’s Merseyside derby on top of the Premier League.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men are yet to so much as draw this season, showing the same consistency the Reds showed en route to lifting the title last season.

It has been far too long since Everton’s last derby win, but we’ve picked out three areas that should give them optimism ahead of tomorrow’s game.

Aston Villa v Liverpool - Premier League

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Alisson’s absence

Adrian stepped in for Alisson at Villa Park and set the tone for the 7-2 defeat with an error which led to the opening goal.

The Spaniard doesn’t offer the same assurance as Klopp’s top stopper and Jamie Carragher said after the Villa debacle that he isn’t good enough for the Reds.

Everton have an opportunity to take advantage of any unease created by Alisson’s absence and Dominic Calvert-Lewin will have his eye on a derby day goal.

Liverpool Training Session

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Space down the right

Villa were able to get in behind Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold far too easily in the 7-2, and the former in particular has struggled at the start of this season.

Richarlison has the pace and directness to exploit that once again, having watched Jack Grealish have a field day down Liverpool’s right last time out.

It’s no secret that Liverpool push their full backs high and wide into attack, but that leaves room in behind, especially when their pressing game isn’t on point.

Liverpool Training Session

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Firmino’s form

Roberto Firmino has never been the most prolific striker, instead pulling deep to account for Mo Salah and Sadio Mane’s direct running.

But he looks slightly short of his peak right now, and that has a big impact on this Liverpool side. Put simply, nobody can do what he does.

Everton have done well at keeping the derbies tight at Goodison in recent seasons and Firmino’s form offers cause to be confident of another clean sheet here.

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