After several years searching for a reliable goalscorer,
The fact that forward is Luis Suárez, one of the best around, means
That said, Liverpool have regularly struggled for goals this term. If Suárez is not firing, alternative match-winners have proved hard to find, which is not altogether surprising when Rodgers has recently been using a 17 year-old on one flank and an 18 year-old on the other.
It would surely be a risk to play both Raheem Sterling and Suso in such a frenetic contest so I would not be surprised to see Suso step down, possibly in favour of Stewart Downing, who helped his cause no end with that fantastic goal against Anzhi on Thursday.
Sterling, however, looks certain to play, having capped another exciting display last week with the only goal against Reading, his first for Liverpool.
And if he starts on the right, that would lead to an interesting tussle with Leighton Baines, who represents one of Everton’s biggest threats with his overlapping bursts. That duel, in fact, could turn into a great game of cat and mouse. When does Baines venture forward, knowing his lightening quick opponent can exploit the space? And when does Sterling decide to take a chance by letting his man go, in the hope that Liverpool can win back the ball quickly and slip him in?
Elsewhere, Everton will hope to have Fellaini back from injury because the big man makes such a difference when he is on song. Playing just off Jelavic, Fellaini can act as the link between defence and attack in a game when it is notoriously difficult to keep hold of the ball.
With his huge frame, though, Fellaini can do just that to let his team move up the pitch and support the ball.
Furthermore, he gives the centre-half a real problem with his positioning. Should Martin Skrtel, for example, squeeze on to Fellaini at the risk of leaving space behind, or should he let someone like Gerrard battle it out? It is one of many questions surrounding this clash.
Another for Everton is how to cope without the suspended Steven Pienaar. That is a real body blow, one that potentially takes away some advantage from a team that has enjoyed an unusually good start. Six points above Liverpool? Moyes would certainly take that seven months from now.
Is there method to Mancini's madness?
As a former player, I find it hard to figure out how you can make progress with a manager who does not talk on a one-to-one basis. Yet that appears to be the case with Roberto Mancini.
Manchester City players have told me that he never speaks to them, that he issues most of his directives through assistant David Platt. On one famous occasion after a particularly poor first half, Mancini’s only words in the dressing room before walking back out were “play better!”
I think they probably did. Not only that, those same players went on to win the title in dramatic fashion to prove that team spirit and togetherness was not a problem. Because, or in spite of Mancini’s methods, the team had carved a place in football folklore.
The question now is simple: is that method sustainable? Can it go on to achieve lasting success, or will players grow tired of the rigid regime?
The latest signs, admittedly, were not especially good when City lamely fell to Ajax in the Champions League. Body language spoke of confusion and a little discontent.
You do not have to like your manager. But you do need to respect him. We will find out this season if that remains the case.