Jurgen Klopp is getting no sympathy from Sean Dyche ahead of Monday’s Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton.
Dyche’s second game in charge of Everton sees him take the struggling Toffees across Stanley Park to Anfield.
Everton beat Premier League leaders Arsenal at Goodison Park in Dyche’s first match – their first competitive win since October 22 – but remain in the relegation zone.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have won just one of their last seven games in all competitions and went down 3-0 to Everton’s relegation rivals Wolves last time out.
Asked if he sympathised with Klopp, Dyche gave a blunt response.
“My focus is on Everton, that’s what I’ve been brought here to do – make sure we’re right without focusing on anyone else. That’s absolutely my focus,” he said at a press conference. “There’s no sympathy in football. I can empathise. You have an understanding of others. He certainly doesn’t want or need my sympathy – trust me. Someone who’s as experienced as him and what he’s done in the game. He doesn’t need sympathy from anyone.
“As a manager you can empathise, understand each other’s roles. No matter what level you’re at, you can understand, because it’s a very difficult job. There’s an understanding, a shared feeling. I’ve been through it myself when things aren’t always going as you’d wish. But he doesn’t need my sympathy.”
Klopp is hoping to be able to call on Diogo Jota after the forward returned from a long injury lay off, but is anticipating a stern test.
“Intensity is always important,” he said. “We know it’s a difficult game, Dyche is now there and made a massive impact immediately, it was obvious. We have to prepare and that is what we will do.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Liverpool – Mohamed Salah
Salah, who has a fine record against Everton, has been involved in 99 Premier League goals in 103 games at Anfield (70 goals, 29 assists). He could become the 13th player to reach 100 goal involvements at a single ground in the competition, while if he does it in this match, he would be the third quickest after Alan Shearer at Ewood Park (74 games) and Thierry Henry at Highbury (92 games).
Everton – Dwight McNeil
Having struggled under Frank Lampard, McNeil will be hoping he can rekindle his best form under Dyche, who of course managed him at Burnley. The winger was excellent in Everton’s win over Arsenal, creating a joint team-high three chances, including the assist for James Tarkowski’s winner.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Liverpool have lost just one of their last 22 home league games against Everton (W12 D9), going down 2-0 in February 2021.
– The Merseyside derby has finished 0-0 more often than any other fixture in Premier League history, with the reverse meeting between Everton and Liverpool this season the 12th time the match has finished goalless.
– This is the eighth Premier League meeting between Liverpool and Everton on a Monday, with no fixture being played on the day more often. Everton are unbeaten in their three such games at Anfield, drawing in February 1998 and January 2009, and winning 1-0 in September 1999.
– Liverpool are winless in their four Premier League games so far in 2023 (D1 L3), netting just one goal so far. Only once in the Premier League era have they had a longer winless run at the start of a calendar year (five games in 2017).
– Liverpool have failed to score in their last three Premier League games, as many times as in their previous 65 matches combined. They last went four league games without a goal in January 2021, with the fourth game in that run a 1-0 home defeat to Dyche’s Burnley.