Gerrard speaks passionately ahead of his final Merseyside derby, explaining why the fixture means so much…
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will play in his 33rd and final Merseyside derby when he leads out the Reds against Everton at Goodison Park tomorrow afternoon.
Gerrard, who made his 700th club appearance during Wednesday’s FA Cup win over Bolton, spoke in depth about the upcoming match, explaining why it’s a fixture that’s always something to look forward too.
“It’s the fixture that I look for at the beginning of the season,” Gerrard told Liverpoolfc.com. “I love playing against Everton. I’ve got friends and family members who are big Blues and it’s all about the bragging rights in the city.
“I’ll focus on [Saturday’s game] exactly how I have done in the previous derbies I’ve played in. It’s a bit different from a normal league game, but I’m looking forward to that one and hopefully I can add to my good derby record.”
The 34-year-old has scored 10 goals against Everton in his career, including a hat-trick at Anfield in 2012, which Gerrard rated among his favourite derby moments.
“I’d look back on the game I scored a hat-trick in,” he added. “Personally, that was a great feeling after all the stick I’ve had over the years. But it’s about the team and big derby wins.
“Also the FA Cup semi-final [in 2012], where we beat them at Wembley was a big one because I think there was a big confidence in the blue camp that they were going to beat us on the day and we managed to get that important win.
“I love the banter with Everton fans. It’s what it’s all about. It’s about rivalries and big games of football. I’m up for all that. I don’t mind it at all. Bring it on as far as I’m concerned.
“I’ve got respect for all the Everton players and the Everton fans. I think they’re a terrific football club, but once that whistle goes I want to beat them. That’s a good problem for me.”