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Jürgen Klopp on Merseyside Derby: Everton Are Always a Difficult Opponent for Us

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Sure, Jürgen. Sure.

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Liverpool FC v Sheffield United - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool have a very good record in the Merseyside Derby since Klopp’s arrival, but it doesn’t appear to be something he’s boasting about.

In today’s match programme for the FA Cup tie against Anfield, the manager discussed the challenges when facing Everton and the potential of the club under Carlo Ancelotti.

“Carlo being back in the English game is so cool for the competitions and even cooler for Everton”, Klopp wrote. “I’m not sure if I’m doing either of us any favours by saying this, but in football terms I really do consider him a friend. Such an amazing person and just so generous in spirit and personality.

“He’s won all there is to win, as a player and coach and yet remains chilled and humble. He is a benchmark for those of us working in the game today on how to conduct yourself. His impact at Everton is already being felt – we can see this from our analysis. He has been clever in picking up on the positivity of approach injected by Duncan Ferguson.

“Everton are always a difficult opponent for us because of the positive emotion they bring into this derby game. Under Carlo, with his experience, I think they have become even more dangerous.

“But to be honest, I love this. I think it adds to the occasion. My players have just as much desire and belief going into this game. We want to win it with all we have. We see the game as opportunity. We know what our supporters expect. No Liverpool side can ever have less desire than the opponent – this is not allowed.

“We go into this game today with complete confidence in our ability. We always focus on our own strengths while respecting the opponents. We will be on the front foot. We will channel the intensity to benefit our own approach. We will take all the positive energy this unique fixture brings.

“Our supporters will know their importance also. There is no team talk required for the Kop on days like this. They know their job. We will give all we have to make this an occasion to enjoy.”

It’s a strange tie, this. It’s the derby, but it feels a meaningless game. Everton won’t be thinking that, and nor should Klopp’s players.