Jürgen Klopp is relishing his first experience of an away Merseyside derby, with the Liverpool manager anticipating a 'real battle' at Goodison Park on Monday night.
The Reds will make the short trip across Stanley Park having returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a comprehensive 3-0 victory at Middlesbrough on Wednesday.
Everton, meanwhile, ended a five-game run without a win by beating Arsenal at home in midweek and Klopp - whose only derby in charge of Liverpool to date ended in a 4-0 victory at Anfield in April - feels his team will need ‘everything of our potential and quality’ to pick up a positive result.
When asked how big a game the derby is in his pre-match press conference this afternoon, the manager replied: “Very, very, very, very big. The good thing around the derby is that I don’t have to say a lot because everybody knows what it is. For me it’s pretty special because it’s my first time at Goodison Park.
“Yesterday night I watched the movie ‘Creed’, that was my first impression of Goodison Park! I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a very important period or moment in the season for all of us. Both teams after the last games [are] in a good mood.
“We watched the game together in the hotel at Middlesbrough, Everton v Arsenal, so we could see the atmosphere there was good. We were quite excited about the game so it was intense, good to see.
“It will be a real battle, I would say. Two good teams against each other and my first time at Goodison Park, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Klopp was also quizzed on what the derby means to him, some 14 months on from his arrival on Merseyside.
“I don’t think that’s too important. I’m part of Liverpool Football Club so it’s really easy for me to accept the importance of the game,” he said.
“I cannot say Everton is my enemy since I was five years old, it’s not like this, but how I said a few times before, I like how Liverpool lives with this, the city, lives with these two big clubs.
“Until now I’ve never had any issue with Evertonian fans, where I’ve met them as taxi drivers or wherever, a lot of nice people support Everton so I have no issue with this. But it’s the game for us and we have to respect this and we will, no problem.
“I’m quite good at adapting to these situations and I’m already in the mood, a really positive mood, because I’m really looking forward to it.
“That’s the game you want to have, how I said a few times - football is not the most important thing in the world, but on Monday night I’d say for 90 minutes in and around Liverpool, probably it is. So let’s do our best.”
LFCTV GO: Watch Jürgen's press conference in full
Last season’s corresponding fixture was Liverpool’s final game before Klopp’s appointment, and he revealed he has learned a lot about the rivalry between the clubs since then.
“I watched the last one at Goodison Park live on television. 1-1, Danny Ings scored, [Romelu] Lukaku scored the equaliser. I didn’t know in this moment I would be the Liverpool coach a few days later or something - I watched it because I had time,” the boss continued.
“How I said, I like it, I’m really looking forward to it but it’s not that I’ve watched a lot of these games in the last few years. But of course I know about the big rivalry between the clubs, the big years of both clubs when first and second of the league came from Liverpool.
“Last year before the home game I had a meeting with legends from Everton and Liverpool so it was interesting to listen to their stories. I love these stories, I love the history, I’m a big fan of football history and of course between these two clubs they have a lot of big things - finals and everything.
“In the end both clubs showed their real character when they reacted on Hillsborough. I have to say this is the best story I’ve ever heard in football. I love it, in these moments you really forget that you are rivals and everything is good, then you can really fight in the game for three points.
“I respect the desire of Everton, but we are LFC so we want to win the game too. We don’t make a big difference between where we want to win - Goodison Park, good place, never been there, looking forward to it.”
Liverpool had collected just one point from their previous two Premier League outings prior to their trip to the Riverside Stadium, and Klopp praised his players for the manner of their response on Teesside.
“Two, three days before the Middlesbrough game we spoke about conceding goals here, only drawing there, losing at Bournemouth, drawing at Southampton, which was a clean sheet too,” he said.
“I don’t think about it too much. Of course we knew we had to change a few things after those two games and I was really happy with the reaction of the boys, especially in the second half, and we have a really good base. Not from the points side, although that’s not bad too, but more from the performance side.
“We can trust ourselves that on a normal day we are in pretty good shape, but then you put in angriness, aggressiveness, desire, the final motivation and all that stuff and then it makes a real performance.
“So I’m not in doubt about our quality, not for a second, but I know we will need everything of our potential and quality to get anything at Goodison Park. It will be interesting, that’s how football should be.”