Liverpool managed a thorough, convincing, and more than a little nerve-steadying victory over Watford on Wednesday night, but with the season entering its final stretch there’s no time to celebrate it as attentions turn to Sunday and Everton.
According to midfielder Gini Wijnaldum, there will be no shortage of motivation for the players heading into the game—not only is there the need to win to ensure they keep ahead of Manchester City in the title race, there’s the fact that it’s, well, Everton.
“We want to defeat them badly, too, so it works two ways,” was Wijnaldum’s response when asked if he expects Everton to be more fired up than usual for the weekend and the chance to potentially derail their local rival’s title challenge.
“It will be a totally different atmosphere to a normal game, but we go there to play football and to hopefully enjoy it. You use it to spur you on. It’s great to win there. My first year here we won there. Then last year we had two draws in the league.”
With both Liverpool and City winning on Wednesday, the Reds kept themselves a point ahead in the title race while Tottenham stumbled to drop eight points back, a likely insurmountable gap with just ten games to go in the 2018-19 season.
And heading into the weekend, both will again consider anything less than maximum points—against Everton and Bournemouth respectively—to be a disappointment and every game the rest of the way potentially the biggest of the season for both.
“The supporters really want to win this game,” Wijnaldum added, “and so do we.”