The 239th Merseyside Derby between Everton and Liverpool will take place in Liverpool on Wednesday. In the last duel a year ago, Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool’s Thiago were injured after bad mistakes. Jurgen Klopp has not forgotten that.
“This is not my favorite game,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said in the Merseyside derby. Images of two brutal attackers against superstars Virgil van Dijk and Thiago from last year still weigh heavily on the 53-year-old’s stomach.
For Van Dijk, the season ended prematurely in October 2020 after Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford joined, and Thiago was off for three months after the horrific Richarlison blunder. Klopp doesn’t want to talk about that before the game on Wednesday.
The Liverpool boss scolded reporters at a press conference on Tuesday with “I have nothing to say on this because you are not going to convey it properly” and only then spoke about it. “It’s something that shouldn’t happen in football. I can’t remember anything like that since then.”
The German assures that his players will be able to handle the situation. “We are all human and it’s hard to forget something like that.”
Benitez: “We have to do well”
Everton manager Rafael Benitez, who once led Liverpool to the Champions League title (2005), knows very well the Merseyside derby. However, for him, there are no casualties at the front – points have to be found. “It’s something special and we have to do a good job,” the Spaniard warned.
The 61-year-old, who has come under fire from Everton fans over his past with Liverpool since taking over, is hoping for a turning point in the season after recent unsatisfactory results. “It will be an opportunity for us to change things and improve for the rest of the season.”
Everton have been waiting for a home win against local rivals Liverpool since 2011. Also historically, the pudding in the derby at the local Goodison Park does not work out well. In 100 Premier League duels, Everton have won only 22 times. Liverpool have already scored 46 away wins.
Watch the match from 9:15 pm. Live on blue sports (via RMC).