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Brendan Rodgers Acknowledges Liverpool as Favourites Ahead of Merseyside Derby

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Liverpool's manager did not shy away from the pressure ahead of the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.

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Brendan Rodgers may have said a lot that has annoyed fans as Liverpool's form and performances began to slip into the depths of last season's worst periods. However, the manager has generally held firm in the belief that he can take the club forward.

Liverpool struggled in yet another midweek game at Anfield in the face of modest opposition. FC Sion are far better than Carlisle United, but where creating chances was a problem in the Capital One Cup, finishing a number of good chances held Rodgers' side back on Thursday. With only one win in normal time over the past eight games, Brendan Rodgers is under pressure. Away trips to Everton and Tottenham Hotspur are separated by an international break, one that could be filled with further discontent in the event of a defeat at Goodison Park.

Roberto Martínez sought to highlight Liverpool's investment ahead of Sunday's clash to paint his side as underdogs, a reasonable ploy for a club of Everton's size. The Toffees are currently a point ahead of the Reds and have already beaten a visiting Chelsea side. For Martínez, though, the task ahead is one of consistency.

The game is about how well we start the game and how consistent we can be over 90 minutes. We respect the opponent, they are a team with a lot of expectation and huge investment behind it.

Rodgers responded by acknowledging the status of favourites, something that is expected at a club of Liverpool's side. For a side with so many honours and a sizeable following around the globe, this is no surprise. It's not like FSG have not been committed to supporting Rodgers financially either; the club has been growing in many ways but needs to start pushing for regular Champions League football as a platform for goals that include winning the biggest trophies on offer. Being favourites against clubs like Everton, Swansea City, Crystal Palace, Southampton, and Tottenham is part of the deal.

We will always take the favourites tag. When you are at Liverpool that's what you want. It means you are fighting and you are at the top. We are happy to take that tag if people want to put that on to us. We are Liverpool and we expect to work well. There is no advantage or disadvantage for us. If we're the favourites then it shows that we're a big club and people look to us as the team who want to have that initiative. We're happy to have that here. Every game we go into, the level of our opponent's game goes up because of the nature of the club we are.

Rodgers later went on to compare Liverpool's start with Everton's, clearly pointing to the different standards Liverpool are held to compared with most Premier League clubs. It certainly was interesting to find out what the manager thought of Liverpool's start to the season.

Everton have done well. They are a point ahead of us - they've had a good start, we've had a disaster! It shows you the club we're at and the level of expectancy here as opposed to another club. We are happy to live with that.You lose games at a club like this and the investigation and analysis that goes into it is huge. It's part of being at a prestigious club and it's something you have to deal with. The team here is expected to do well. It's still very early in the season. We've drawn a number of games this season we should have won. The reality is we're only a couple of points off the top four and five points off the top with a lot of improvement still to come. A sense of perspective helps to keep us calm and will help us to progress. Whatever pressure is wanting to be put on, we're still very calm and enjoying our work.

We're already in October before an international break that will be followed by a number of dangerous league fixtures, a Europa League game against Rubin Kazan where defeat could make it difficult to get out of the group, and a Capital One Cup tie where Anfield might be the scene of more than just a few boos if another shoddy performance is delivered. The season is definitely in full swing, but the manager is correct to point out that Liverpool are in a position where all is not lost. There is enough time to catch teams that aren't far ahead of Liverpool, but can Rodgers inspire the team to play much better over the next month?