Merseyside derby? It’s the game of the season – Gerrard
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard describes the Everton clash as his favourite match-up of the year
Steven Gerrard has described Liverpool’s bitter clashes with Everton as his favourite games of the season ahead of Saturday’s trip to Goodison Park.
The Reds skipper believes the Merseyside derby generates a buzz unrivalled by any other fixture and is excited to be part of the squad making the short journey across Stanley Park.
“I think it’s the best week of the season,” Gerrard told LFC TV. “These are the two favourite games for me with Manchester United a close second.
“Because of the Merseyside rivalry and the buzz you get from beating them, it’s probably my favourite game, so I’m looking forward to it.”
The 31-year-old could make his first league start since undergoing groin surgery during the summer and the midfielder insists he will be prepared for the tempestuous game – whatever role manager Kenny Dalglish hands him.
“We’ll just have to wait and see what Kenny decides to do with the team and whether I’m going to be in from the start or on the bench, but whatever he decides I’ll be ready,” he said.
“We need to play without fear. Sometimes in derby games you can get involved in the fight and forget to play. It becomes a battle and a tussle rather than us settling and playing our own game.
“We like to pass and move, attack quick and stay compact when we haven’t got the ball, so if we can settle really quickly into the game I’m really confident we can get the right result.”
As many as nine Liverpool players could make their first appearance in a Merseyside derby on Saturday, but Gerrard insists The Reds’ new signings have enough experience from other derbies to handle the occasion.
“I think when you play football at this level you realise what derbies are about,” continued Gerrard. “I think all of the players, although not experiencing the Merseyside derby, will have played in big derbies throughout their careers.
“I’m sure when they get out there and hear the atmosphere at Goodison, it’ll hit home what it’s all about.
“Of course the leaders in the dressing room have also got to help spread that message that this is a massive game, not for bragging rights but because it’s a big three points for the club to move further up the table.”
The Merseyside derby – last five meetings at Goodison Park
1) Everton 2-0 Liverpool, Premier League, October 2010
2) Everton 0-2 Liverpool, Premier League, November 2009
3) Everton 1-0 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round replay, February 2009
4) Everton 0-2 Liverpool, Premier League, September 2008
5) Everton 1-2 Liverpool, Premier League, October 2007