Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be unimpressed if the red mist descends on any of his players during Wednesday’s derby against Everton.
The visit of Roberto Martinez’s men to Anfield will be Klopp’s first taste of the battle for Merseyside bragging rights, which has a reputation for being a feisty affair.
Although no player has been sent off in the past eight meetings between the clubs, the 20 red cards shown in games between Liverpool and Everton remains a Premier League record.
Klopp, well-versed in derby day passion from his time in charge of Borussia Dortmund, recalls attempts to calm his players’ tempers ahead of the Ruhr Derby encounters with Schalke and will have similar demands for this local argument.
“Before I went to Dortmund there were lots of red cards in derbies,” he told a pre-match news conference.
“I don’t want to see this … not to show ‘I am the man’. I’m not going to say ‘kick them out of the stadium’. It’s about football.
“To handle the emotions and the pressure – that is the big challenge.
“I like these moments, even when there is pressure on both sides. Three points but a lot of other things to get – to make our fans happy.”
Defenders Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel are nursing cramp and a groin injury respectively, while striker Divock Origi is expected to recover from what his manager described as a “little problem with his back but no real issue”.
Belgium international Origi was one of the star performers in a week where Liverpool dispatched Stoke and AFC Bournemouth either side of a sensational comeback to dump favourites Dortmund out of the Europa League quarter-finals.
Victory over Everton and his under-pressure counterpart Martinez would lift Liverpool to within two points of fifth-placed Manchester United, leaving Klopp determined to ensure his players’ European exploits will not take any focus away from their domestic tasks.
“We should only think about our line up,” he said.
“Nobody in our dressing room is thinking about the Europa League. We could be fifth.
“We have a situation where we can change [the line-up]. We felt good before the game versus Bournemouth and it will be the same versus Everton. No-one will be rested.”
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