‘Smack in the face was needed’: Liverpool are right up for the Merseyside derby after 7-2 stuffing at Aston Villa, vows Jurgen Klopp
- Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will face Everton in the 237th Merseyside derby
- Carlo Ancelotti’s men are looking to end a 10-year wait for a win in this fixture
- This is Liverpool’s first game since they were hammered 7-2 by Aston Villa
- The loss left Klopp stewing but hopes the smack in the face will help matters
Jurgen Klopp hopes a ‘real smack in the face’ will jolt Liverpool back to their best for the lunchtime showdown with Everton.
The champions make the short trip across Stanley Park for the 237th Merseyside derby, with Carlo Ancelotti’s league leaders trying to end a 10-year wait for a win in this fixture to maintain their flying start to the season.
This is Liverpool’s first game since they were pummelled 7-2 by Aston Villa — the worst defeat the club have suffered since 1963 — and Klopp admits the wretched nature of that performance left him stewing during the international break.
Jurgen Klopp hopes a ‘real smack in the face’ will jolt Liverpool back to their best form
Klopp’s champions face Carlo Ancelotti’s league leaders in Saturday’s 237th Merseyside derby
He said: ‘I got the feeling more and more during the hours after the game that maybe, after all the positive things that happened to us, it needed a proper knock in the middle of our face to shake us through. I’m not 100 per cent sure about that — but that is the way I take it.
‘Then it was OK because there is no other reason why 7-2 should be good.
‘If it was, then it could have been the most important game of the season, so that is why we try to use it.
‘You want a self-confident team. You don’t want a team that looks like it has got its heads down.
It will be the first game since Mo Salah and his team-mates were hammered 7-2 by Aston Villa
But Klopp hopes that the defeat will jolt Sadio Mane and the Reds back into life at Everton
‘But on the other side you don’t want to forget the game as well and the 7-2 result helps with that. We will not forget it.’
Goodison Park will provide a huge test of Liverpool’s credentials. Everton have often frozen in these fixtures but Ancelotti is paying no attention to history and does not believe past results will have any bearing on this latest instalment.
He ended the club’s seven-year wait to win away at a top-six club and now he wants to bust another hoodoo.
‘What happened in the past is the past,’ said Ancelotti. ‘We live in the present and the present says we are playing this exciting game and we have to be ready. Every game is its own history and you have to be ready to read the situation well.’
Ancelotti says he wants to break another Everton hoodoo after winning away at a top six side
Klopp acknowledged Everton come into Saturday’s clash on a high. ‘I have lost enough derbies in my life to know how it feels so I don’t need that experience to be honest,’ said the German, who has won seven and drawn four of his matches against the Blues.
‘We’ve always respected Everton and that is what we’ll do this time, for a good reason because they are a good team and now they look especially good.
‘Carlo is a sensational manager, so it was always clear when he had the time to build something he would do that.
‘This team looks really, really good — I would like to say something different but it is not possible. Of course it is a proper challenge.
‘It is 10 years (without a victory) for them and from my point of view, long may it continue. It is the hardest work for us and we will be ready for that.’
The Toffees are looking to end a 10-year wait for a victory against their Merseyside rivals