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Liverpool boss Klopp urges his side to step up in ‘difficult’ Everton derby

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has challenged his side to rise to the occasion as they prepare for a ‘difficult’ Merseyside derby showdown against Everton.

The Toffees will make the trip to Anfield on the back of a morale-boosting run of form, having emerged victorious in three of their last four outings across all competitions.

Everton recorded a resounding 3-0 victory over Bournemouth in their final Premier League fixture before the international break and will be hoping to replicate their positive performance against Liverpool.

Despite their recent form, Sean Dyche’s side are not out of the woods just yet, sitting 16th in the Premier League standings with only three points separating them from the relegation zone.

“It’s a special game – a high-pressure game and they all played them,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference

“They are used to the kind of game. I don’t think we should make it too big for them – I think they are ready for it.

“Derbies are all difficult for different reasons. I don’t think it makes sense to compare other derbies to this derby. 

“Everton deserve respect – (Dominic) Calvert-Lewin is back. Real quality. (Abdoulaye) Doucoure, (Amadou) Onana, (Idrissa) Gueye – super experienced. Really good centre-halves and England’s number one in goal. 

“A good team. I understand ‘the derby’ but I cannot prepare a one-off game – we have to play our best.”

Liverpool also head into the contest in emphatic form, having suffered defeat just once in all competitions this season, losing out to Tottenham Hotspur in the famous controversial fixture.

While the Reds have won only one of their last three games and face Everton on the back of a 2-2 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion, they will be itching to return to winning ways against their local rivals.

Liverpool head into Saturday’s mouth-watering encounter sitting fourth on the Premier League table, with just three points separating them from league leaders Tottenham.

Klopp’s side are on course for a top-four finish, and victory over their Merseyside rivals will only serve as a confidence boost to realise their ambitions.

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