REUTERS - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp is looking forward to his first Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Monday and says his players will need no extra motivation ahead of the season’s first Premier League clash with locals rivals Everton.
Liverpool make the trip in good spirits having arrested a mini-slump by beating Middlesbrough 3-0 in midweek to rise to second in the table and will want to keep up their impressive recent record against their neighbours.
The visitors are unbeaten in 11 top-flight matches against Everton, who are in eighth place, culminating in last season’s 4-0 win at Anfield under Klopp in April.
“It’s our job to keep Everton fans as quiet as possible - if possible,” Klopp told a news conference on Friday.
“It will be a real battle between two good teams. Motivation will be clear. We will fill each space they give us in the stand,” he added.
“For me it’s really special. It’s my first time at Goodison Park. I‘m really looking forward to it, it’s a very important moment of the season.”
The German confirmed that Simon Mignolet would keep his place in goal after replacing Loris Karius for the win over Middlesbrough, adding that striker Daniel Sturridge and midfielder Emre Can could also get run-outs.
Karius was criticised after making mistakes in the 2-2 draw with West Ham last weekend and the 4-3 defeat at Bournemouth, and Klopp said it made sense to ease the pressure on the 23-year-old German.
”I won’t change each week,“ he added. ”Simon had a really good game. Loris can use the time in training with no pressure.
“I thought it made absolute sense. I saw it as a good decision for both (keepers) to take Loris out of the firing line.”
Sturridge (calf) has not played since Nov. 19 while defender Joel Matip (ankle) missed the game against Middlesbrough.
”Sturridge is still a maybe,“ Klopp said. ”He is closer to team training than he was last week and maybe we can involve him today or tomorrow.
“Danny cannot be at 100 percent but having Daniel Sturridge for 20 minutes would be fantastic.”
“We haven’t made a decision (on Matip). We have to see whether to try him for Everton or give him few more days.”
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond