The lack of fans at Goodison Park will benefit Everton rather than Liverpool.

That is the view of former England winger John Barnes, who reckons Carlo Ancelotti’s men will be able to play a smarter game against their biggest rivals because they won’t be pressured to get forward quickly.

Jurgen Klopp and his side go into the game on the back of a demoralising 7-2 defeat against Aston Villa before the international break, with Barnes hoping to see his former side prove that it was a one-off.

Barnes told Daily Star Sport : "The lack of a crowd benefits Everton more than Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are favourites to beat Everton at Goodison Park
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are favourites to beat Everton at Goodison Park

“In the derby I went to last season at Goodison, Everton should have won because the home crowd wasn’t there to drive them on.

“When you take on Liverpool you don’t want it to be an open physical game because Liverpool are the best team in the world at that.

“I think that the Everton crowd, by brother-in-law being one of them, really do drive the team on - but against Liverpool you don’t want to do that, you want to sit back and defend and catch them on the counter.

“The crowd at Goodison demand to see the team go forward, and without that they can play a much smarter game against Liverpool which is what they did at the end of last season and I expect them to play the same way.”

Everton have won their opening four fixtures and sit top of the Premier League table
Everton have won their opening four fixtures and sit top of the Premier League table

Before adding: “The lack of fans helps some players. I know players who were fantastic in training, fantastic where there was smaller crowds, but as soon as there was a big attendance they were intimidated.

“I think the lack of fans helps the so called weaker teams, because if a team is under pressure fans will get disappointed and that negativity goes onto the pitch and the players try to get forward and attack.

“That is not what you want to do against a Liverpool side, which means you can play a much smarter game and not have any possession, so with the smaller teams it can work.”

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