During a strong debut season on Merseyside, the former Watford player has shouldered great responsibility, particularly when Everton have been on the road.
If Doucoure can exert his authority on Liverpool’s midfield, Everton could finally claim their first success at Anfield in 22 years.
Wijnaldum’s vital role
The Dutchman has faced a heavy workload and made 35 appearances in all competitions so far. But because of this he has looked jaded.
Thiago and Jones have limited Premier League experience, so 30-year-old Wijnaldum has a vital role to perform.
Doucoure and Wijnaldum have each started 22 Premier League matches this term, so it is easy to compare them.
The Everton man is clearly a more dominant ball-winner.
Wijnaldum, who has scored 114 career club goals at a rate of around one every five matches, will be disappointed with his own return.
Everton manager Ancelotti has changed between attacking and defensive strategies during the course of 2020/21.
Some of his team’s best away displays have been adventurous in style, but that could be a risky move in the derby.
Liverpool have struggled to break down low blocks at Anfield so we are likely to witness a more circumspect approach.
Finding the right balance between attack and defence remains a work in progress for Ancelotti.
The Toffees have not produced more shots than the opposition in a Premier League match since a 1-1 draw at Burnley on 5 December.
In each of their last 12 outings Everton have had fewer shots than their opponents.
This record may provide Liverpool with extra encouragement as they seek to avoid a fourth straight defeat and extend their 23-match unbeaten run over their local rivals.