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- Former England manager reflects on successful Crystal Palace tactics against Liverpool
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Sam Allardyce insists Everton must apply the right tactics when they come up against Liverpool’s dangerous attacking force at Anfield on Sunday.
The recently-appointed Toffees manager will oversee his first Merseyside derby, in which he plans to adopt an approach that has worked so effectively against the Reds in the past.
Allardyce has stressed the importance of finding a way around the explosive style of football Jurgen Klopp has implemented, and that the German’s players have executed superbly of late.
That could mean plenty of familiar long balls as a means of cancelling out Liverpool’s high pressing.
“You can’t just block two players off – it’s more than that, it’s four or five. That’s the hard bit. The runs they make, their finishing ability has increased, they don’t have to rely on one goalscorer,” Allardyce told the Liverpool Echo.
“We wont at Palace last year and that’s after going 1-0 down, have to look at that area, but yet again the team of Liverpool is playing much better.”
“But it can be done.”
“If they have a high press, then why would we try to play of of the back? You’ll find out Sunday.”
“Playing the right way against Liverpool is what we have to do, it’s what we did at Palace, we played our tactics and they were better than theirs.”
Liverpool’s opponents can partially be forgiven for abandoning any ambitions they may have to play slick total football in exchange for a long ball approach.
The likelihood is that Sunday will be yet another test of the Reds’ ability to break down a compact and deep-lying team. Given the current form of Klopp’s men, it would make sense for Everton to do so.
It’s these types of games where the entire team must contribute, from the goalkeeper distributing the ball quickly, to Liverpool’s midfield link-men patrolling the transition from defence to attack and Klopp’s front men displaying zero hesitation in the final third.
Whilst the counterattack will still be an option at times, the onus will also be on Philippe Coutinho’s vision and Roberto Firmino’s illusive movement to dissect Everton’s defensive setup, not to mention Mohamed Salah’s conviction in front of goal.
In their current mood, Liverpool will be hard to stop.