Jordan Henderson has spoken of the importance of Tuesday's 222nd Merseyside derby, explaining why he relishes these types of fixtures as a player.

The stakes couldn't be higher ahead of the Anfield showdown, with fourth-place Liverpool just a point clear of Everton in sixth.

The match is one of the most eagerly-anticipated local derbies in years - and the Reds' No.14 insists he has no nerves ahead of his seventh clash with the Blues.

He told "I think pre-match it's more about excitement than nerves as you just can't wait to get out there and play, but that's the same every week as you always have excitement before every game when you are just about to go out.

"I'll be excited on the day and I'm looking forward to it.

"I think every point is defining come the end of the season. You have just got to rack as many points as you can and win as many games as you can, but with the position that we are in, I think we are quite close.

"Obviously it's a derby and a massive game so it will have an extra edge to it, but we've just got to take it as another game for us. I'm sure come Tuesday we will be right up for it.

"We are at home and we just want to go out from the first whistle and press really high, press them and make sure they know we are up for a game. We have just got to keep doing what we have been doing and get on the ball and dominate possession."

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With nine wins out of 11 on home turf in the Barclays Premier League, Henderson is  hoping Liverpool can continue their excellent home record against Roberto Martinez's outfit.

He added: "It will be a tough game for us but we are at home and we need to go out and show, like we have done all season, that Anfield is our fortress and put on a good display and go and get three points.

"When we played them away it was a fantastic game and there were some fantastic goals. It was very tight and I'm sure this will be no different on Tuesday.

"We are starting to get that winning mentality and ruthlessness that we need to be at the very top.

"I think we have shown that in certain games, especially the last game against Aston Villa, when we were 2-0 down and things weren't going our way and you really find out about yourselves as individuals and as a team. I think we showed a lot of character in that game to come back.

"Yes, we would have liked to have won the game but to come back and get a point - that could be crucial for us in the end."