With the international break over and all the players back at Melwood, preparations have begun in earnest today for Sautrday’s derby match against local rivals Everton, and the players are looking forward to another intense game on the weekend.
“It is pretty special,” goalkeeper Simon Mignolet told the club’s official website. “In the time I’ve been here, we’ve always had great results against Everton at home. The fans are up for it. It’s always a big fixture to look forward to.
“On the day itself, it’s nice to be part of it. It’s always a bit hostile, but like in any other derby game that’s something you relish. It’s a bit special, of course, in Liverpool because in some families you have got both Everton and Liverpool supporters.”
Liverpool have earned two wins and a draw in home dates against the Blues with Mignolet in goal, and the points will be more important than ever this time around with a potential top four place and Champions League football on the line.
For Everton the points matter, too, as they currently stand just two points back of Manchester United in fifth and are level for points with Arsenal. A finish that guarantees Europa League football is within sight, though the two sides they’re chasing have games in hand.
No matter the result, though, the expectation is for another intense game, like Liverpool’s matches against Everton so often are. Intense, but also lacking some of the hatred that marks so many rivalries and derby matches around the globe.
“Although it’s a derby, I don’t think there is so much hatred between the two clubs,” Mignolet added. “Everybody wants to win and everybody is cheering their team on, but it’s still in a fair way.”