Football

Best time to play ‘injured’ Liverpool, says Sylvain Distin

Former Everton defender Sylvain Distin hailed Toffees manager Carlo Ancelotti and said it is "the best moment" to play Liverpool, ahead of the Merseyside Derby tomorrow.

Table-topping Everton boast the only 100 per cent record in the English Premier League from teams that have played four games. They are averaging three goals per game and, in Dominic Calvert-Lewin, have the league's joint-leading scorer.

In contrast, Liverpool, who were in a league of their own last season, went into the international break licking their wounds after a 7-2 defeat by Aston Villa. After four games, they have the joint second-worst defensive record in the EPL.

Distin told the Liverpool Echo: "(Ancelotti) is in the same circle as (Juergen) Klopp, (Pep) Guardiola, (Jose) Mourinho. You can sense that he is committed to the long term.

"Let's not get carried away! Saturday's derby against the Reds comes at the best moment. Liverpool are an injured beast after their (loss) at Villa."

However, former Reds midfielder Danny Murphy warned in his Daily Mail column: "Liverpool may even benefit from Ancelotti's side being so confident they will get on the front foot.

"If I was in the blue dressing room, I would say beware the wounded animal, particularly as Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara should be all right to return."

Meanwhile, former Everton player Leon Osman told Sky Sports: "The team that defends the best will win the game. Both teams have incredible ability going forward."

Football