Merseyside derbies are always a strange proposition. Even though Liverpool have tended to be on the winning side in recent years, there’s still a feeling of excitement and nervousness that begins a few weeks before the big day. Memories of past derbies, filled with drama, rough play, red cards, and controversy run through everyone’s minds, and that combined with the pride involved in these encounters always makes this match a very passionate and entertaining affair.
Virgil van Dijk would know. His first game for Liverpool was in a Merseyside Derby in January 2018. He marked that occasion by scoring the winning goal for the Reds that sent them into the next round of the FA Cup.
Now the talented Dutchman is looking forward to another good match, on the heels of his impressive double against Watford on Wednesday.
“It will be a game that can go either way and sometimes in these type of games it is about who wants it the most,” he said.
“We are in a position where we definitely want it the most and hopefully we can show that on the pitch. It will be a game full of passion. For us the task is to play our game like we have been doing all season.
“We know it is going to be tough, they are a good side with good players, but if we are at our best we have a good chance of getting a result there.
“I like it [the atmosphere] to be fair. The atmosphere is always something which motivates you even more and it is a great game to play in. It’s the derby and it’s special but we want to show our quality and win the game. Hopefully with good football but if not we are going to fight for it.”
The derby will have an added bluster this time around because Liverpool are fighting to maintain their position atop of the Premier League table, while Everton would love to throw a huge wrench in their plans. Another clutch goal from our star defender on Sunday wouldn’t be unwelcome as the Reds look to claim another derby victory and a crucial three points.