English Premiership

Klopp warns Liverpool to beware of Everton threat

Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)

London - Jurgen Klopp has warned Liverpool that in-form Everton are capable of ending the Reds' 19-year unbeaten record in Merseyside derbies at Anfield.

Not since Kevin Campbell fired Everton to a 1-0 win in September 1999 have Everton made a successful trip to the home of their hated neighbours across Stanley Park.

Liverpool are also unbeaten in the last 17 Merseyside derbies at any venue - a record run for that fixture dating back to 2010.

But Reds boss Klopp insists in-form Everton have been revitalised under new boss Marco Silva and pose a genuine threat to Liverpool's derby supremacy.

"He has the best squad. They brought in players he wanted. Richarlison, what a player he is, last year already (Theo) Walcott came in, this year Bernard came in, (Andre) Gomes, (Yerry) Mina," Klopp told reporters on Friday.

"Since I've been at Liverpool, Everton was always really busy but now it's the best-tuned squad.

"One or two years ago (Wayne) Rooney came back, (Gylfi) Sigurdsson came, they said they could not play because of lack of speed, but everything is there.

"The development and improvement is obvious. Analyse Everton and tell me it will be an easy game, tell me their weaknesses: they defend really good, have good players in all positions.

"It will not be the most easy game in the world but no-one expects that in a derby and we shouldn't do that this time so we will not."

The last three Everton managers to visit Anfield in the Premier League - Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce - left with, respectively, a 4-0 defeat, a 3-1 defeat and a 1-1 draw.

However, significant investment and a change in playing style introduced by Silva have seen the Toffees move up to sixth in the table.

Suitably impressed, Klopp down-played Liverpool's derby dominance, saying: "If you wouldn't say that I wouldn't even think about it. How can I know what people make of that? I'm a not bit interested.

"You cannot make anything with these results in the past. It is good that we won these games or got results from these games, the most exciting one was the late winner of Sadio (Mane) at Everton - that felt unbelievable.

"There were good games we played at home to Everton but we have to make sure as a club we create an atmosphere so exceptional it will make it a little bit easier for the players to come into it 100 percent in a fighting mood."

Klopp will be without suspended captain Jordan Henderson for the game, and has challenged the rest of the squad to step up after their painful midweek Champions League defeat at Paris Saint Germain.

"Are they ready? We will see. We have to prove it," he said.

"If I were to say now 'We have a real problem, I don't have enough time to make them ready for a derby' what kind of idiot would I be?"

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