Barry Lewtas insists Liverpool U18s will have to be at their very best if they are to take the spoils from Saturday's derby clash with Everton.

After a thrilling 4-2 win over Salzburg in the UEFA Youth League for the U19 group on Wednesday, a number of the squad involved in that game are ready for another testing fixture.

The Reds did the double over their Merseyside rivals at U18 level last season but will be wary of a Blues outfit that recently won a match 10-0 in the U18s Premier League North.

At the top of the table, Liverpool are in second place, just two points behind leaders Manchester City, and a point ahead of fourth-placed Everton, who have a game in hand.

Kick-off is at 11am BST at Finch Farm on Saturday and you can watch the game live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO with our coverage starting at 10.30am.

Read on for Lewtas' pre-match thoughts…

On the first mini-derby of the season…

Big rivalry, so that filters right down to the Academy. We are respectful of Everton at youth-team level. The teams are always close. Normally the teams are always around the top end of the table, which is great as well.

On having a number of Scousers in the team this season like Layton Stewart, Fidel O'Rourke, Jack Walls, Remi Savage and James Norris…

A lot of those players have come through the system so they would have played against the same teams throughout the age groups so there will always be that kind of rivalry. I'd imagine they all know each other as well so it's a familiar fixture but it's certainly one that has a bit of a rivalry and a bit of a bite to it.

On how much the lads are looking forward to the game…

For us, at the moment we are very much a game-to-game team obviously with the European matches we have as well. That's not taking anything away from the Everton fixture, which is a big game for us. Certainly, when we get to Friday you can sense the boys' focus is there and they are looking forward to the game.

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On whether he is expecting a lot of goals in the match with Liverpool scoring seven on the opening day of 2019-20 and the Blues recently notching 10 against Sunderland…

I hope so in one end and not the other! They are a good team. Last season they were a good team and we had two close games which we won by the odd goal in each one and it took good goals to win the games. I certainly don't envisage a high-scoring game but I would certainly imagine two teams who will be fiercely competitive and create chances. We have to be at our best defensively not to concede because they are a good team but I also think we are going to have to be very creative and we are going to have to be on our game to score goals. We are really respectful of the opposition, the boys are, and we will need to be on our 'A' game to make sure we come out on top on Saturday.

On the games last season - a 4-3 win in Kirkby and 1-0 victory at Finch Farm, with Jack Bearne notching winning goals on both occasions…

Unfortunately, Jack is injured so won't be available for this game, which is a shame. They were two different games. Everton pegged us back in the home fixture under the lights and we got a last-minute winner, again! At Finch Farm we scored a fantastic goal and they had chances as well in the game. It was a bit more open than what we would have liked so we certainly hope we can get more control in this game on Saturday and be more creative.

On what the best approach to a derby should be for his team…

I think it's important that the boys don't play the occasion. I think we have certainly got to try to play our game and concentrate on ourselves. We won't be going into the game fearing the opposition and we've got to try to stamp our authority on the game, our style and the way we set up and want to play. It's important we look after ourselves. Obviously in terms of the occasion and the emotion and discipline that's required, it goes without saying we will prepare the boys in the right way. Where these boys want to get to, these are the experiences they need, so it's good practice in that respect.

On the second-placed Reds being a point ahead of the Blues in the league…

It certainly adds something to it. It's really early in the season and I'm sure the boys look at the league table because they are young lads, they want to win and that's the right way to be. For me, I've said to the boys if you keep winning and keep getting enough points then there will be a time where we all sit down and look at the league table. But we are really early in the season and at the moment we are striving to prove our level and performance and try to get more consistency in our game. I think if we can get that part right then the results will start to take care of themselves. It's a big game, there's three points on the line, there's a rivalry and we will be fully focused on a good performance. We are hoping that will see us come out on top.

BARRY LEWTAS

'We don't fear any team in the competition this season'