Everton and manager Sean Dyche are preparing for a derby at Anfield on Saturday under a cloud of continuing doubt and uncertainty over the proposed takeover and a possible points deduction.
It is just about the worst possible situation for the squad to be facing, with a match at their old enemy coming up, in itself of course a big enough test.
But as usual Everton have all the bad luck. That is something that never seems to change regardless of who is in charge of, or playing for, the team.
As well as the seemingly endless speculation about the viability of 777 Partners deal to buy the Blues from Farhad Moshiri, it is now rumoured that the independent commission set up by the Premier League to look into the club’s finances, could report next week.
If that report is bad news, it might mean a heavy fine or even a points deduction, although that would likely be held over until next season.
What a mess things are in, as always.
Anyway, there is nothing that Dyche or his players can do about all this, they can only try and control events on the pitch, not off it.
With that in mind, can the Toffees end their utterly miserable record at Anfield, which has seen them win a solitary league match there since September 1999?
The short answer would appear to be a resounding no chance.
Obviously, the gap in quality between the two Merseyside clubs is huge and on paper there should only be one winner.
However, if there is any hope of a possible upset it might just come from the fact that Everton have produced their best performances away from home since Dyche became manager.
During this campaign the Blues have beaten Brentford and Aston Villa away and last season arguably their best and most important results were also on their travels.
Everton secured crucial draws at Chelsea, Nottingham Forest, Leicester City and Wolves, all of which proved to be important points in their ultimately successful relegation battle.
In addition, they also produced the best win this group of players have managed in a very long time when they crushed Brighton 5-1 at the Amex Stadium.
So, can Dyche’s men somehow find a way to repeat that sort of effort against Liverpool? I’d love to think so as I’m sick of seeing the Toffees getting beat by that lot from across Stanley Park!
To have any chance of doing so though Dyche has to get his team selection spot on for Saturday lunchtime’s game. And this is something he hasn’t alway done, especially this season.
One thing that should help is that he has a fully fit squad to pick from – except for existing long-term injured players Andre Gomes and Dele Alli – nether of whom are part of his plans anyway.
Personally, I would like to see the Blues boss stick to the side that defeated Bournemouth so comprehensively in Everton’s last Premier League match before the international break.
Not just because I think you should be loathe to change a winning team but also because the Toffees need to be positive and try and take the game to their opponents this weekend, albeit not in a reckless way.
I think going to Anfield, sitting back trying to defend in numbers and hit them on the counter attack won’t work in this match.
Ironically, when Everton did last win at Anfield that’s more or less what happened!
However, that was a unique occasion as there were no fans in the ground because of Covid restrictions making for an unrepeatable environment, and it was a materclass from a tactical genius in Carlo Ancelotti.
Liverpool’s biggest weakness is their defence which has been particularly generous in allowing teams to score against them this season.
And the Blues have been creating plenty of chances just not putting them away as we all know, until the Bournemouth win. They must continue that positive and clinical approach.
I think despite all this, Dyche will be instinctively cautious and I suspect that means he will revert to a more defensive side again with Idrissa Gueye almost certainly returning in midfield, probably in place of either James Garner or Amadou Onana.
That to me would be a mistake and I don’t think it is the right approach. Well we will see if he does do this and who is right in just under two days time.
Given all the chaos and instability surrounding the club Everton supporters could do with a tonic and if the team could somehow pull it off, a derby win would certainly fit the bill.