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Football: Liverpool will not harbour bitterness from last derby at Everton, says Klopp

Football: Liverpool will not harbour bitterness from last derby at Everton, says Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during his side's Champions League round of 16 first leg match against RB Leipzig at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on Feb 16, 2021. (File photo: Reuters/Bernadett Szabo)

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool will not harbour any ill will towards Everton heading into Saturday's (Feb 20) Merseyside derby after losing two key players to injury from rash tackles in their previous encounter at Goodison Park earlier this season, manager Jurgen Klopp said on Friday.

Liverpool lost defender Virgil van Dijk for potentially the rest of the season with a knee injury that required surgery after Jordan Pickford's reckless challenge, while Thiago Alcantara was also sidelined after Richarlison's tackle.

"It was an important day for sure. Nothing will be carried over to tomorrow," Klopp told reporters.

"Three weeks later when we got the diagnosis for Virgil - it was good we didn't play Everton again immediately, let me say it like this. We're all human beings, and of course it wasn't nice.

"But that's long gone, we don't think about it any more. It's still a derby and we'll be motivated at the highest level and play the best possible football you can play."

Liverpool have dominated this fixture in recent years, with Everton last winning the derby in 2010, but Carlo Ancelotti's side sit three points behind their Merseyside rivals with a game in hand.

"They've had good teams over the years," said Klopp, who has never lost to Everton in 12 games.

"A manager like Carlo has helped each team (he has managed).

"They have a really good squad, so yes, they are closer than ever before - from the position in the table, for sure."

Klopp said Fabinho, James Milner and Diogo Jota were closer to full fitness, but would not be ready in time for the weekend, and he reiterated his confidence in goalkeeper Alisson Becker whose mistakes have cost Liverpool points in recent games.

"Alisson is human and he showed that in the last two games. It's not a problem. It's work and he's doing that," Klopp said.

"He is too smart to ignore (mistakes) ... It's completely normal. We can rely on his attitude and his focus."

Source: Reuters/kg

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