Jürgen Klopp's derby preview: 'It's special but we'll approach it like a normal game'

NewsJürgen Klopp's derby preview: 'It's special but we'll approach it like a normal game'

Published 30th November 2021

Read a summary of Jürgen Klopp's pre-match press conference ahead of Liverpool's encounter with Everton.

The Reds boss answered questions from journalists at the AXA Training Centre on Tuesday to preview the 239th Merseyside derby. 

Take a look at the key topics discussed during the media briefing below...

On how different the Merseyside derby will be to the Reds' previous three matches...

We all know there are some special things around derbies, these kind of things. But first and foremost, it's a football game as well and that's exactly how we want to approach it and that's it pretty much. We know what our supporters want. I think we are not suspicious of not understanding the supporters' soul and we try to fulfil their dreams and we try to fulfil their wishes, and derby games are more in the focus, if you want. But from our point of view, it's a football game which we have to approach like a normal football game.

On having an extra day's worth of preparation for the game... 

The extra day usually helps. When we usually have one day less, we feel that, to be honest. It's like that. You only have a recovery day. Actually the second-day recovery is usually really important for the boys – it's not just recovery, you can do some stuff but it's difficult to train properly and then you play again. It's a massive difference, so we will see.

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On Mohamed Salah's seventh-placed finish in the 2021 Ballon d'Or...

Yeah about his position I was surprised, to be honest, but it's not in my hands. I think I saw the votes somewhere – the Ballon d'Or is journalists' vote? You don't have to ask me then, it's your fault. That's how it is. You are the journalists, if you think he should be higher up, then you have to convince your colleagues. I'm really not sure what it is 100 per cent. I said that you can give it to Lionel Messi for the career he has, for the footballer he is, all these kind of things. But if you don't give it Robert Lewandowski this time then it's quite tricky to get it at all. Yes, Mo definitely should have been higher up but that's it. 

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On whether previous form matters heading into a Merseyside derby...

I think previous form matters, especially when it's good. We should keep that. We play good football, we have to do good football tomorrow night and if we do that then we are difficult to play – and that's exactly the plan we have.

On Virgil van Dijk's level of performance since returning...

He came back brilliantly. All the little things and people are really quick with that if something is not exactly like it was before, 'Oh, he's not the same anymore' and stuff like this – that's all, of course, not right. These kind of judgments make absolutely no sense because everybody needs time to get back. But he had a full pre-season, which is absolutely helpful. Since then we had to learn a little bit to deal with it. It was at least like this that in the third game in the week – even when he looked fine – he needed maybe this little break, which we gave him now last week. I'm not sure if we have to give him that still for the next few games but at least we need to have [it] in our mind to think about from time to time about that. But apart from that, it's all good, his comeback was absolutely brilliant since he's back, is really good. If some things are not exactly like they have been, it's only a matter of time when they will be exactly where they would have been because just his quality, there's no doubt about that.

Published 30th November 2021