Sunday Apr 24, 2022. 15:00
Liverpool defender Joel Matip has warned that his side must not be overwhelmed by emotion when they face Everton in a Merseyside derby clash on Sunday.
The Reds welcome the Toffees at Anfield and will be chasing a key victory in the Premier League title race, hoping to close the four-point gap rivals Manchester City established at the top of the log thanks to Saturday’s 5-1 win over Watford.
Everton, meanwhile, are in relegation dog fight and will take anything they can get from their trip across Stanley Park.
The derby has seen a number of red cards in the past and Liverpool defender Matip has urged his teammates to keep their emotions in check when they face Frank Lampard’s side.
“I enjoyed really every game against them because you see how it means a lot to the people, to the Liverpool supporters here in the town,” said the Cameroonian.
“Everywhere, you meet Everton [fans] and you know these kinds of talks. We can give our fans a big pleasure, a big favour if we win again.
“It’s a more emotional game but we have to concentrate on keeping on playing our game. Emotions can push but we should not be distracted by it.
“We have to keep on going and concentrate on the stuff we are doing, keep playing the way we play and just put more in.
“They have a lot of quality, a new coach and they will go for everything because for them it’s a big chance to make a big turnaround. For them it’s a big chance but we also know our chance and we have to knock them down.”
Liverpool are not only battling in the Premier League as they attempt to win four trophies this season.
They face Villarreal in the Champions League semifinal next week and despite the importance of that game, Matip is just concentrating on each game.
“We have experience with it but nevertheless, we just concentrate on the next game – that’s how we did it the whole season and it worked out for us. We want to deliver and we have to deliver. We are in good shape so let’s just keep on going.
“This is something special, to be at the end and still be there in every competition and be in range or in a good position. Exciting time.”