Belfast Telegraph

Everton will see our scalp as season changer: Klopp


Facing off: Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp (left) and Everton boss Marco Silva
Facing off: Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp (left) and Everton boss Marco Silva

By Carl Markham

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is wary Everton will view the Merseyside derby as the game which can "solve a lot of problems" for beleaguered manager Marco Silva.

Victory at Anfield - however unlikely considering better teams than the current crop have unsuccessfully come and gone since Kevin Campbell's winning goal in 1999 - would buy Silva and the Toffees board some much-needed time with the club currently two points above the relegation zone.

Liverpool have lost just three of the last 39 Premier League meetings, all at Goodison Park, and are unbeaten in the last 17 meetings in total. They have not fallen to a home league defeat by anyone since Crystal Palace in April 2017.

But Klopp, who has won five and drawn three of his eight derbies in charge, believes a win at Anfield could be the "silver bullet" Everton are hoping for.

"Remember, we don't have to speak about quality and quality differences," said the German, who admits he "didn't run through my living room celebrating" when his side were drawn against Everton in the third round of the FA Cup.

"Are we in a better moment in the table? Of course, that is obvious. But the stats, from my point of view, help Everton more than us because they want to strike back. They want to show they can do differently. They can solve a lot of problems in one game.

"It is a very important football game for us but that must be enough for us."

Everton's current run of two wins in 10 league matches has put Silva in a precarious position, and he has had the air of a dead man walking since losing to fellow strugglers Norwich two weekends ago.

"Of course I have sympathy because I know how difficult the life of a manager can be," Klopp added. "But the last thing Marco needs now is that I feel sorry for him - I don't. But I am really on his side because I know about the job."

Last year's fixture at Anfield was a memorable one for Liverpool fans with Divock Origi scoring an added-time winner after Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford's error, prompting Klopp to run 50 yards onto the pitch to celebrate with goalkeeper Alisson, who is suspended having been sent off against Brighton.

The Liverpool boss was fined £8,000 for his incursion and has no intention of repeating it.

"Everton were good that night, it was an intense game and there were a few winning moments before finally there was a strange goal and my celebration, which I said sorry for," he said.

"It will not happen again - not even in a derby - but in that moment it was a pretty cool moment.

"That was a year ago so it has nothing to do with tomorrow, and we have to be focused on the important parts of the game - and they are on the pitch."

Meanwhile, under-pressure Silva admitted an upset victory over Liverpool would go a long way towards turning around Everton's fortunes but said he feels no need to change his approach at the club.

Silva has come under fire from his own fans after back-to-back defeats saw the Toffees slip to 17th in the Premier League, two points above the drop zone, and with only two wins in their last 10 league games.

"It would have a very good impact, no doubt about it," Silva said. "It will not wipe out anything we did in the last one and a half, two months, but it will be very important for us.

"It can change (the feeling from) the last result, it can give us the chance to get points which we need and for sure it can give confidence to our players."

Everton started the season with great optimism after a summer of investment but little has gone right since the early weeks of the campaign.

"It's not just one thing, it's all the things you talk about, but here I like to find solutions," Silva said.

"If we talk about the summer, what we did or not, the injuries we have or not, it does not change anything for tomorrow's game. It does not change anything for the game in four days.

"I'm not here to talk about those situations. It will create more things for you to talk about but it doesn't help Everton. It can be true or not but it will not help Everton and I'm here always to protect the club and not to create problems."



Premier League

Anfield, Tonight, 8.15pm

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