Jurgen Klopp was furious over Premier League’s reschedule of Merseyside derby. When he found out that it is scheduled for Saturday afternoon to ruin his preparation for Uefa Champions League quarterfinals second-leg against Manchester City, he burst out his frustration. However, he must be calm now after taking the 3-0 lead in first-leg and knowing Manchester City will face a bigger challenge than him on Saturday playing Manchester derby. The only risk for Klopp is not taking Merseyside derby lightly.
Klopp knows it’s one of the most important games for Liverpool. It’s the most heated game in Premier League history and it’s about City pride. Liverpool FC is the biggest team in Liverpool city and their fans can’t digest a defeat by cross-city rival Everton.
Liverpool is unbeaten against Everton since 17th Oct 2010. The last defeat before that came on 9th Sep 2006 and before that, it was on 11th Dec 2004. To make the long story short, Liverpool has suffered only three defeats against Everton in this 21st century.
You can think of the importance of this game in Liverpool’s trophy draught run. Liverpool hasn’t won the league since it was reformed as Premier League in 1992, and these are the games which keep Liverpool fans loyal to the team. They don’t like losing against Everton, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester City. They can’t bear a defeat against Everton simply because they hail from Merseyside, and rest of them because of their Premier League trophies.
Liverpool has already lost this season against Manchester United. They won’t like a defeat in Merseyside derby as well. Liverpool’s passionate coach knows more about passion than us and he knows the importance of Merseyside derby. He knows what place it holds in Liverpool fans’ heart. He will be little confused at that time to go into the match without thinking about next week midweek game against Manchester City. However, the tie is already in Liverpool’s favor but the coach knows it’s only half-time.
— David Votoupal (@Everton4Life) April 6, 2018
Reds will have to play another 90 minutes to book a place in Uefa Champions League semifinals. He needs to make sure that fans don’t notice his caution against Everton in order to focus on Manchester City’s game.
Mohamed Salah is a concern after his hamstring injury during Champions League quarterfinals first-leg. Klopp needs his first playing XI to give enough rest that they will be ready for the high-intensity game at Etihad in midweek. It is expected that Klopp will use his fringe players to march on Everton.
Everton is in the best position to make the most of the situation. It’s time for Sam Allardyce to make something big out of it. Toffees can’t be in a better position to outsmart their city rivals. Liverpool has bigger concerns with their limited squad, whereas Goodison Park heroes can run a riot over them.
However, Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp won’t allow that to happen. He is more passionate than his fans but it’s time to go into the game with a clear mentality. He can’t take Merseyside derby lightly in order to prove his point at Etihad.