Liverpool boss ‘very excited’ by prospect of upcoming Merseyside derby

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Brendan Rodgers has been ensuring that his side are fully prepared for Saturday’s game…

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is desperate to help continue his side’s positive run of form as he prepares for this weekend’s 224th Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.

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The Reds have only lost one of their last 19 competitive fixtures inside 90 minutes and are unbeaten in the league since mid-December, with the gap to the top four now down to just four points.

In contrast, Everton sit 12 points behind us in 12th place, with just one win in their last seven league games – while they also exited the FA Cup at the hands of West Ham United.

Roberto Martinez’s side did manage a win last time out, beating Crystal Palace 1-0, and Rodgers knows that our local rivals will undoubtedly get themselves up for one of the biggest fixtures of the English football season.

Rodgers, who was quoted by Liverpool’s official website, said: “It’s very exciting.  I’ve been involved in a few of the [derby] games now over the last two-and-a-half years and they are wonderful games to be involved in.

“They go so fast, they are full of emotion and the quality of the football at times is outstanding under real intense pressure. They are incredible games to be involved in as a manager and for the players.

“We prepare really well for every game and this game is no different. We really focus on the details of the game and whether it’s at Anfield or whether it’s at Goodison, they are tough games.

“Our momentum at the moment is at a real good level. We’re playing well and the balance in the team is really good. We’re defending well and we’re in a good moment. I’m happy with how it’s going for us, considering where we were at the first part of the season.

“In these types of games the form goes out of the window. The derby games bring a different sort of emotion. At this moment in time, we as a team are operating at a really good level. So whether it’s home or away, we have real confidence that we can go and win the game.”

When we last met back in September, it was Phil Jagielka’s dramatic stoppage time thunderbolt that denied the Reds all three points at Anfield, after captain Steven Gerrard had given us the lead with a trademark freekick. How great it would be for him to find the back of the net in what will be his final Merseyside derby.