derby day | 

Liverpool on revenge mission at Goodison Park as Rafa Benitez faces moment of truth

Liverpool's last visit to their local rivals ended in misery last year as Virgil van Dijk picked up an injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season.
LIverpool managers past and present Rafael Benitez and Jurgen Klopp will meet in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park (Owen Humphreys/PA)

LIverpool managers past and present Rafael Benitez and Jurgen Klopp will meet in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool will be on a revenge mission at Goodison Park on Wednesday night and it could plunge Everton manager Rafael Benitez to the brink of the sack.

That's the verdict of former Liverpool striker and Sunday World columnist John Aldridge, who believes a rampant Liverpool could hammer some nails into Benitez's Goodison Park misery.

Liverpool's last visit to their local rivals ended in misery last year as Virgil van Dijk picked up an injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season, with Aldridge suggesting that incident could inspire Jurgen Klopp's men as they return to enemy territory.

"We all remember what happened in this fixture last year, when Jordan Pickford's disgraceful 'tackle' put Virgil van Dijk out of the game for most of the season and a ridiculous late VAR decision cost Liverpool a win," Aldo told us.

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s challenge on Virgil Van Dijk ended the Liverpool defender’s season (Peter Byrne/PA)

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s challenge on Virgil Van Dijk ended the Liverpool defender’s season (Peter Byrne/PA)

"When you look back at the season as a whole, that was the day when things went wrong as the entire campaign unravelled a few weeks later.

"Liverpool's players and fans will not forget what happened on that day at Goodison and Everton added salt to those wounds by ending their long wait for a win at Anfield later on in the season, so this is a moment for Klopp's team to strike back.

"The fans are now present again and the presence of Rafael Benitez in the Everton dug-out adds to the story for this match.

"There were a lot of Everton supporters who didn't want former Liverpool boss Benitez in charge of their club and the poor run of form they have been on in the last few weeks has added to the discontent building around Rafa."

Aldridge suspects Benitez will struggle to win over Everton fans, after his long association with Liverpool was highlighted by his success in leading the club to glory in the 2005 Champions League final.

"The last thing Rafa needs right now is a game against a Liverpool side in red-hot attacking form and Jurgen Klopp's men will want to add to Benitez's misery," added Aldridge.

"I see the bookies have installed Rafa as the new favourite to be the next manager sacked in the Premier League after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was finally put out of his misery at Manchester United.

"Well, those odds may be trimmed again if Liverpool hand Everton a battering in front of the Goodison Park faithful in a game that always means so much to their fans."


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