Joel Matip is no stranger to big games, having played in some of Liverpool’s biggest in recent memory. The center-back is having the best season of his career, and he stopped to discuss the upcoming Merseyside derby with the official site.
Liverpool welcome their struggling neighbors Everton to Anfield on Sunday afternoon for the final derby of the season. The game is important to further the goals of both teams this time around, but even if it was a dead rubber match, it would still be a charged match.
The derby is known for its big moments: catastrophic injuries and hotheaded red cards are common place when tempers start flaring. Matip knows that Liverpool need to keep cool heads on Sunday if they want to ensure the best outcome.
“I enjoyed really every game against them because you see how it means a lot to the people, to the Liverpool supporters here in the town,” he said.
“Everywhere, you meet Everton [fans] and you know these kinds of talks. We can give our fans a big pleasure, a big favour if we win again. It’s a more emotional game but we have to concentrate on keeping on playing our game. Emotions can push but we should not be distracted by it.
“We have to keep on going and concentrate on the stuff we are doing, keep playing the way we play and just put more in.”
Liverpool need the three points on Sunday, to keep their hopes of usurping the league title from City alive and also for bragging rights for the Red part of Merseyside. But they also have several really important games fast approaching, and they need to be fit and ready to take on those challenges as well.
The team has been exceptionally lucky with injuries this season — likely because so many key players basically took last season off with long-term injuries. They just need to make it through the next five weeks in order to make history.