Phil Jagielka has dismissed claims Everton head into Sunday’s Merseyside derby with Liverpool as favourites to win.
Roberto Martinez’s men are unbeaten in six games in all competitions and sit fifth in the Premier League table, whilst Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has come under increasing pressure for their disappointing start to the campaign.
However, the England centre-back believes the fixture arrives too early in the campaign for opinions on form to be taken too seriously.
“Look, I understand where you are coming from but Liverpool’s team has changed a lot and it is early days for you to be able to judge them,” Jagielka said.
“We are seven games in. You could ask 100 different people and they would give you 80 different teams. I will be the 101st and not bother.”
The 33-year-old defender, who scored against his side’s cross-city rivals in the 1-1 draw in September last year, believes the Goodison Park clash will be closer than many expect.
“For whatever reason it seems the red half are getting a bit more stick than the blues. People say we’re doing well and they’re doing really bad and yet they are only one point behind. It’s strange,” Jagielka added.
“Maybe it’s to do with budgets, transfers, player ins and outs. The clubs had totally different summers, with expectations. But we’re not both sat with four points. We’re both in healthy positions.
“I don’t see there being a massive underdog or massive favourite, but maybe you are used to it being so far the other way that it is being built up differently.”