Brendan Rodgers has faith that a full week of preparation for the Merseyside derby will allow several of his senior players to help Liverpool produce more of a trademark performance when Everton visit Anfield this weekend.

The manager was left to bemoan a slow start at Upton Park in their last Barclays Premier League outing, with two goals in the opening seven minutes providing West Ham United with the platform for a 3-1 victory in London.

That fixture had followed quickly on the heels of a testing and emotional evening when the Reds celebrated their return to Champions League football with a hard-fought win over Ludogorets Razgrad courtesy of Steven Gerrard's stoppage-time penalty.

In contrast this weekend, though his side were in midweek action again on Tuesday - no less dramatically seeing off the challenge of Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup - Rodgers was able to rest a number of his first-team options.

Therefore, ahead of the latest meeting with our rivals from across Stanley Park, the boss is hopeful that much of his squad can throw themselves into the Saturday lunchtime kick-off with renewed freshness and energy.

"We're adapting to the midweek games now and we're trying to maximise the preparation time that we can," he told Liverpoolfc.com at Melwood, once training had concluded for the day.

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"We didn't start at all last weekend, we were 2-0 down in seven minutes. It wasn't good for us.

"Certainly guys like Steven, Dejan [Lovren], the likes of Martin Skrtel, Alberto Moreno and others will be fresh and ready for the game. They'll hopefully be fresh, fit and looking forward to the game."

Rodgers explained at the outset of another busy week that midfielders Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson were being assessed by the Reds' medical team with groin and hip complaints respectively.

Asked whether either of the pair would be available for selection when Roberto Martinez's charges return to the scene of a 4-0 dismantling in January, the boss admitted that more time will be required before making a decision.

He added: "We're still seeing how they are working over the next couple of days. It's too early to rule them in or out, with a couple of days still to go until the game.

"We're hopeful that they can be involved but we'll see how that is and how they respond with the medical team."

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