Georginio Wijnaldum v Tom Davies: The key battle in Liverpool v Everton
By Will Rickson and Adam Bate
Last Updated: 31/03/17 7:54am
On Saturday, Everton teenager Tom Davies is likely to receive his first taste of Merseyside derby action, going head-to-head in midfield with Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum.
In the first Merseyside derby of the season on December 19, Davies was not named on the bench and made only three brief substitute appearances in the Toffees' first 17 Premier League games of the season. But since Christmas, the 18-year-old has played in all 12 games.
Everton players with the best win ratios this season (10 PL games minimum)
|Ramiro Funes Mori||23||12||52.2%|
Davies has started nine of 10 games this calendar year and has helped spark a revival in Everton's fortunes - the 2017 Premier League table sees them joint-top with Tottenham on 23 points from a possible 30. The Toffees' record this season is far better with Davies in the starting XI than without him.
Everton with and without Tom Davies this PL season
|With Davies starting||Without Davies starting|
|Goals per game||2.2||1.6|
|Conceded per game||0.4||1.3|
Davies is one of 20 players who are still teenagers to have appeared in the Premier League this season - of those 20, he leads the way for assists, passes, tackles and interceptions, while only Manchester United's Marcus Rashford has played more minutes and attempted more dribbles.
Tom Davies ranked against other PL teenagers
|Total||PL teen rank|
In this sort of form and as England under-19 captain, Davies must have ambitions of senior international recognition. Saturday's match will give him an opportunity to test himself against Liverpool's Netherlands international Wijnaldum - a big-game specialist in front of the home supporters.
The Dutchman scored the only goal of the game in the New Year's Eve victory over Manchester City, got the vital equaliser against Chelsea in January and put the seal on the 3-1 win over Arsenal earlier this month.
Most PL goals with 100% at home
Having also netted the opener in the win over Burnley last time out at Anfield, all five of Wijnaldum's Premier League goals for Liverpool have come at Anfield. That's a continuation of a trend from last term when all 11 of his goals for Newcastle came in front of the home support.
Georginio Wijnaldum's Premier League record
It has certainly been a collective effort for Liverpool this season, with Wijnaldum one of six Liverpool players to have contributed directly to nine or more Premier League goals for the division's top scorers.
Liverpool PL goal contributions this season
With so many attacking threats, Liverpool will be hopeful of completing a first Premier League double over Everton since 2011-12. But with Davies and the Toffees in such good form, it is by no means a foregone conclusion.