Could this gameplan work again for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby?

Everton Logo at Goodison Park

John Stones was earmarked as something of a weakness in the Merseyside derby at Anfield last season.

Everton could be without their right-back Seamus Coleman for tomorrow's Merseyside derby clash with Liverpool at Anfield, as the Irishman has a head injury.

It was a similar story last season for the Toffees as Everton missed their right-back dearly, with the Reds running out 4-0 winners. 

John Stones was the makeshift right-back that day for the Blues and was targeted, and caught out by Liverpool, in particular Daniel Sturridge who played on the left side that night, scoring twice on a memorable night for the Red half of Merseyside.

It is unlikely to be Sturridge up against Stones this time given the Liverpool forward is struggling to be fit for the derby because of a thigh injury.

Instead, it may be Raheem Sterling, another quick player with great end product.

Stones is naturally a centre-back, but eight months on after the thrashing at the hands of Liverpool, he has matured a great deal - and put in a great performance at international level at right-back in England's 2-0 win over Switzerland.

If he were to start, it wouldn't be surprising to see Liverpool target him again, who wouldn't target a player who is playing out of his natural position?

One man who backs Stones to cope in the same role if called upon is captain Phil Jagielka, who told the Liverpool Echo: “There were situations that were difficult for anyone let alone a teenager playing in his first derby. But it hasn’t effected his form or morale since. If he gets the opportunity to play this weekend, and with the way injuries and things have gone at the moment...I’d be 100% confident in him not taking that kind of baggage with him.”

Stones will be under the spotlight tomorrow if he plays. Can Liverpool get the better of him again, or will the young defender have learned from last season's lesson.

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