Liverpool have endured a strange start to their Premier League campaign, especially considering just how excellent they were during last season, where they came within 180 minutes of a stunning quadruple triumph.
Two successive draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace might not have been enough to set alarm bells ringing, but a lacklustre performance against Manchester United side in turmoil resulted in a 2-1 defeat and condemned the Anfield side to just two points from nine.
A morale boosting 9-0 thrashing of Bournemouth appeared to be a return to the norm for Jurgen Klopp and his men, however, they struggled to a last-gasp victory over Newcastle, and with the Merseyside derby next, Klopp will need to sort out his side’s Jekyll and Hyde form.
He could be helped by a major summer acquisition, who is back in the fold following a three-match suspension.
On the chalkboard
Darwin Nunez arrived at Anfield for a club-record fee of £85m and there were high expectations placed on the 22-year-old.
Having scored 48 goals and registering 16 assists in 85 matches for Benfica, the £180k-p/w man was expected to become the new focal point for a changed Liverpool front three, with Sadio Mane leaving for Bayern Munich.
He made a positive start, coming off the bench to make his debut against Manchester City in the Community Shield, the striker scoring during injury time to wrap up the win.
A goal and assist came during his Premier League debut against Fulham but controversy followed as he was sent off following a headbutt on Crystal Palace player Joachim Anderson and he subsequently faced a three-match ban.
The Merseyside derby will be his first match since then, but Klopp has to unleash the striker against a timid Everton defence who have conceded six goals in the league and he will be desperate to get back into the manager’s good books.
It would be harsh on Roberto Firmino who has started off the season with three goals and three assists, but with Nunez raring to go following suspension, the derby could be the best time for Klopp to let Nunez loose and he could certainly be a “handful” for Frank Lampard and his side.