Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp Expecting 'Proper Fight' in 'Special' Merseyside Derby

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2018

FILE PHOTO (EDITORS NOTE: COMPOSITE OF IMAGES - Image numbers 946221366,1025073120 - GRADIENT ADDED) In this composite image a comparison has been made between Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool (L) and  Marco Silva, Manager of Everton.  Liverpool FC and  Everton FC  meet in the Merseyside derby at Anfield on December 2, 2018 in Liverpool.  ***LEFT IMAGE***  LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool looks on during the warm up prior to the Premier League match between Liverpool and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield on April 14, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) ***RIGHT IMAGE***  LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Marco Silva, Manager of Everton looks on prior to the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Everton and Rotherham United at Goodison Park on August 29, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is expecting Sunday's Merseyside derby with Everton to be a "proper fight."

Everton travel to Anfield in search of their first win over their bitter rivals since 2010, a run spanning 17 meetings.

Despite the Reds' advantageous recent record in the fixture, the German is anticipating a tough match, per Goal's Neil Jones:

Neil Jones @neiljonesgoal

Klopp: "Analyse Everton and tell me it will be an easy game. They defend really good, they have good players in all positions. We have that as well, so it will be a fight. We have to be ready for a proper, proper fight, how derbies should be." #LFC #EFC

Klopp is relishing the prospect of testing his side against the Toffees, too, per James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo:

James Pearce @JamesPearceEcho

Klopp: "It's the special game. Since I've been in it has always felt different. The only bad thing is that we never had enough time to prepare it. The game have always been difficult. Everton are a different team now, different style."

Liverpool are second in the Premier League—just two points behind leaders Manchester City—having gone unbeaten thus far.

Everton are 11 points back on the Reds in sixth, but they're in good form and have won five of their last seven league matches.

The Reds will be without suspended captain Jordan Henderson after he was sent off for two bookable offences in their 3-0 win over Watford in their last Premier League game.

Per Jones, Klopp is not concerned, but it seems Liverpool are waiting on the fitness of some players after their UEFA Champions League exertions against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

"As long as all the others are fit, we have solutions, that is good, he said. "Not 100 per cent on the squad situation. We had an intense game, and we have a lot of knocks. We have to see."

Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner started against PSG, while Klopp could give Fabinho, Naby Keita or Xherdan Shaqiri their first taste of a Merseyside derby.

Per Carl Markham of the Press Association, Klopp did not take kindly to a question about his midfield:

Carl Markham @carlmarkham

JK, a bit spikier than usual, “I think they are ready but we have to prove it on Sunday.”

While Henderson's absence is something of a blow, Liverpool should have several strong options available to them if they're fit to play.

Klopp is also right to point out their defensive record

Everton have largely relied on Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson to find the net this season—they've scored 12 of the 20 goals Everton have scored overall.

Against the joint-best defence in the Premier League, goals might not be easy to come by for the Toffees, particularly if the Reds focus on shutting those two down.