Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has backed his team to beat Liverpool in the forthcoming Merseyside derby.
The Toffees have a notoriously poor record against their local rivals, having lost 5-2 at Anfield in December, while the Reds stand on the cusp of winning a first title in the Premier League era, requiring only six points from their remaining nine fixtures.
Play, however, has been halted in England for over three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, but is slated to restart in mid-June.
Everton’s first match back will be against the Reds, and while it is one in which few are giving Carlo Ancelotti’s men a chance, Pickford said that he and his team-mates are more than capable of upsetting the odds and an opponent that has dropped only five points so far this season.
“We want to win every game we play and any sort of derby match is massive for the fans and for players,” the England No.1 told Sky Sports News.
“We want to show how good we can be and we have an opportunity to beat them. We know they are a good side, they are top of the league. We just want to do our best and try to beat them.
“We know we have the ability in the squad to beat them. We just want to do it for ourselves and our fans.”
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old said that the break has been a welcome one, despite the difficult circumstances.
“Obviously it's been difficult but it's nice to spend time with your family and get a nice big break," he said.
“I've not had a break from football since I was probably a 16-year-old - I've been in the England set up since then - so it's nice for my mind and body to have a reset.
“We're getting ready to go again but it's been a nice eight or nine weeks off, in the sense of giving your body time to relax.”
Returning to action, however, is something Pickford is looking forward to, particularly with the matches set to come in quick succession.
“I love constant football matches and I've been brought up on playing football every day,” he said.
“From that side of it, it's easy for me. The biggest challenge will be making sure we get looked after well between the end of this season and going into next season.”