'Intense' is the word that springs to Philippe Coutinho's mind when he ponders the prospect of Saturday's Merseyside derby at Anfield.
Liverpool host Everton in the 228th edition of the fixture this weekend, with six points currently separating the fourth-placed Reds and the Blues, who sit seventh, in the Premier League standings.
Coutinho is yet to taste defeat in the derby, with the Brazilian also having scored twice in seven appearances against Everton since his arrival at Anfield in January 2013.
However, the Reds required a stoppage-time winner from Sadio Mane to snatch all three points from the reverse fixture at Goodison Park earlier this season, and Coutinho is anticipating another hard-fought and passionate affair this time around.
“The rivalry is like any derby - it’s intense. I’ve experienced these games both home and away and the intensity is equal with the fans,” the No.10 told Premier League Productions.
“You’re always on TV, it’s one of the most difficult games and I don’t think this one will be any different.”
Coutinho went on to explain that meetings with arch-rivals carry an added significance for players, as well as supporters.
“They’re very good!” he replied, when asked to describe what Merseyside derbies are like to play in.
“The week before the game, you can’t wait to play and if you win, the level of joy you give to the fans is amazing. They’re the victories you always enjoy.”
A win this weekend would see Liverpool solidify their place in the top four, and Coutinho is determined to end the campaign strongly to secure a return to the Champions League.
“It’s very important, obviously it’s our aim [to finish in the top four],” the 24-year-old added.
“All the games are like finals and if we’re going to achieve our aim we need a lot of points.”