127 days after the curtain opened on 2016-17, the Premier League’s global audience will be transfixed on the 227th Merseyside derby.
Jurgen Klopp’s first visit to Goodison Park coincides with Ronald Koeman’s introduction to the local rivalry, with Monday night’s encounter the final fixture before Christmas.
Liverpool and Everton head into the showdown off the back of uplifting wins; the Reds spellbinding in a 3-0 scorching of Middlesbrough, while the Blues bullied Arsenal into a 2-1 submission at home.
The season so far has been quite contrasting for both clubs though, with Klopp’s men suffering just two defeats in 20 across all competitions, perched 11 points over their neighbours in the league standings.
And the Liverpool boss expects his side to continue the enterprising, aggressive approach that has underpinned their encouraging start to the campaign to reward supporters.
“It’s about us doing something that fans can really enjoy,” Klopp told Goal. “Life is difficult enough for all of us, but for our supporters too, so we need to give them 90 minutes minimum a week where they can think in the most positive way about Liverpool Football Club, and about what could happen with this club in the future.
“I know football is not the most important thing in life, but in this 90 minutes, it is. And we have to respect that. I think the only reason this game is so popular is because people are so interested [in it], that’s the only reason, that’s the truth.
“And if this is the case, we have to entertain them, to give them something more than just 90 minutes.”
One of the tenets of Liverpool’s imposing start to the season has been a collective pull to properly implement the manager’s vision.
“Creating an atmosphere where the players really think yeah, we can do it together, that’s a challenge because all the other teams want to do it too,” Klopp admitted.
“But it’s still an open race so you can have the best atmosphere in the team, nobody can avoid this, you can have it if you want it.”
And the 49-year-old wants that common belief to spread through to the terraces. He’d like supporters to toast to Liverpool’s successes and relish their fixtures, but not be startled by stellar performances or results as it should be the norm.
Klopp explained: “Not being surprised anymore about our quality, because that’s what we expect. Great, celebrate each goal like crazy, do whatever you want.
“Supporters go out to the pub or wherever you want. Have a good sleep on Sunday if we played on Saturday, go to work Monday and wait for the next game - great. Count the seconds until the next game - great.
“But don’t be surprised. And if it’s not easy in one game, don’t be surprised either and appreciate that we tried to solve these problems, specific problems in this game.
“That makes it all a common experience. And making experiences together, that’s what I really like and that’s what makes life so valuable.
“When you can say, ‘yeah, we had a really good time together’.
“When you have a really good time together it’s never only perfect or only bad, it’s like life there are ups and downs, at the end the sun is shining."