Everton vs Liverpool derby set for fireworks in the dugouts as under-pressure Lampard faces enigmatic Klopp
JURGEN KLOPP has already experienced some serious touchline fireworks this week.
And under-pressure Frank Lampard is unlikely to calm things down as he fights for his future in the white heat of a Merseyside derby.
Back in July 2020, when Liverpool lifted the Premier League trophy for the only time, Klopp’s title-winners were presented with their silverware at a largely empty Anfield after a thrilling and feisty 5-3 victory over Lampard’s Chelsea.
Lampard went viral after an X-rated bust-up with Klopp and his spiky No 2 Pep Lijnders — back when behind-closed-doors pandemic football allowed us full access to touchline effing and blinding.
There will be a roaring full house to drown out any industrial language between Klopp and Lampard at Goodison Park today.
And Everton chief Lampard needs all the volume he can get to lift his winless side, who only narrowly avoided plunging down into the Championship in May.
Lampard, who played in the Jose Mourinho side that contested an intense rivalry with Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool in the Noughties — is sure to be pumped up when hostilities against the Reds resume.
Lamps position is under severe scrutiny after just seven months at Goodison and he has since admitted he was ‘misguided’ to blow his top at Klopp two years ago.
But after Mateo Kovacic had been penalised for a strong challenge on Sadio Mane, Lijnders started a row with Lampard, who responded by yelling: “It’s not a fing foul. I’m not asking you, so shut up.”
When Klopp came to Lijnders’ defence, Lampard told the Liverpool manager: “F*** off you as well. Only title you’ve ever won and you’re f***ing giving it the big’un. F*** off.”
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That would have been music to the ears of Chelsea fans as their club’s three-time title-winner gave Liverpool a slap-down on their big night.
Yesterday, Lampard admitted: “As a manager you do have to have a certain edge on the touchline as it is all about winning.
“Yes, things may have got a little bit heated between us in the past but at the end you still shake hands and it’s done. But I also know that you have to stand up for yourself and do your job.
“I had a taste of a Merseyside derby last season at Anfield.
“And these derbies are different from London derbies because there really is more of a local feel.
“This will be my first at Goodison knowing we’ve got a home crowd behind us. My players have to match the intensity that our fans will bring.”
Lampard is not alone in being drawn into touchline flare-ups with Klopp and Lijnders — who are widely regarded as insufferable by rival bosses and match officials.
Newcastle’s coaching staff were driven into a rage during their last-gasp defeat at Anfield on Wednesday — with a missile being thrown towards Klopp by a member of Eddie Howe’s backroom staff after Fabio Carvalho’s 98th-minute winner.
At Anfield late last season, Lampard did his best to rile Liverpool again when struggling Everton frustrated Liverpool’s pursuit of Manchester City with an ultra-defensive Mourinho-style bus-parking display.
But after 62 goalless minutes, Everton were beaten 2-0, having enjoyed only 18 per cent of possession.
This time, Everton are desperate to put one over on their Scouse rivals — even though three successive draws and a couple of deadline-day signings have gone a small way towards lifting the Goodison gloom.
The derby is a big fight, we cannot ignore that, but you have to play football as well. That’s a real challenge
Liverpool, who failed to win their first three Prem games, have recorded successive, but contrasting, home wins — a 9-0 demolition of Bournemouth, followed by a last-gasp winner to pip Newcastle 2-1.
But despite losing only one of his 15 Merseyside derbies, and never at Goodison, Klopp is fully aware of the unique nature of this fixture, which is no longer — if it ever truly was — ‘the friendly derby’.
Klopp said: “The derby is a big fight, we cannot ignore that, but you have to play football as well. That’s a real challenge .
“The Newcastle game was super- intense and showed us what we will have to expect against Everton.
“I’ve had 15 Merseyside derbies. The games were all different but always intense, a lot of fight, and the more you can play some football in between these moments of fighting, the more likely you can get more from the game.”
Both Merseyside managers are happy with their clubs’ deadline-day dealings.
Everton re-signed Idrissa Gueye from Paris Saint-Germain and nabbed Manchester United’s James Garner, who helped Nottingham Forest win promotion last term, as well as keeping Anthony Gordon out of Chelsea’s clutches.
On Gordon, Lampard insisted: “I was always pretty cool about it — it never got close. This shows where we are going as a club. I’m happy with the business we’ve done.”
And Liverpool, without the injured midfield trio of Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita, signed Brazilian star Arthur Melo on loan from Juventus — although the 26-year-old former Barcelona playmaker is unlikely to get international clearance in time to play.
Klopp said: “Arthur is a really good footballer, with a very exciting career already and is coming into the best age for a footballer.
“He can give us rhythm. He is a really good passer, he’s safe on the ball. It didn’t work out 100 per cent at Juve but his potential, for sure, is still there.”
LIKELY LINE-UPS — EVERTON: Pickford, Patterson, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Gueye, Onana, Iwobi, Gray, Maupay, Gordon.
LIVERPOOL (likely): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Elliott, Fabinho, Milner, Salah, Nunez, Diaz.
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