Liverpool take on Everton on Saturday in a match that they dare not lose. More than bragging rights are at stake for Brendan Rodgers’ side, who have seen their form take a worrying dip recently.
A penalty shoot-out win against Middlesbrough and an unconvincing victory over Ludogorets Razgrad have failed to suggest Liverpool can overcome recent defeats to Aston Villa and West Ham United.
But that is exactly what they will have to do this weekend as they look to get one over their fierce rivals and get their league form back on track.
Here are three Liverpool players with plenty to prove this weekend:
The summer signing from Southampton is now fit and ready to make his mark at his new club. But there is no more time for him to bed in and the England international needs to start influencing Liverpool the way he once did on the south coast.
Considering the money Rodgers spent on Lallana this summer, he needs to show more and start creating and scoring goals. No goals or assists in four appearances to date is simply not good enough.
Another former Southampton player also has a lot to prove despite his previous goal-scoring record. Lambert failed to find the net against Middlesbrough and considering how tight Saturday’s match could be, there is every chance the striker will come off the bench in the second half tasked with changing the game.
Yet to score or assist in five appearances to date, Lambert has to end his goal drought sooner rather than later, and a winner in the Merseyside derby would make him an instant hero.
Markovic may only be 20, but Liverpool paid £20million for the former Benfica winger this summer and as yet he has failed to replicate the form that warranted such an outlay.
Another player yet to score or assist, he needs to start showing his innate talent on a consistent basis. He has it, as anyone who watched the Primeira Liga last season will tell you. But he needs to start showing it in a Liverpool shirt.