Liverpool not out for Merseyside derby revenge after Virgil van Dijk injury against Everton, says Jurgen Klopp

George Flood
·2-min read
<p>Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk suffered a serious knee injury against Everton in October</p> (Getty Images)

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk suffered a serious knee injury against Everton in October

(Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp insists bad memories of the last Merseyside derby will have no impact on his team when Liverpool host rivals Everton on Saturday.

The Reds head into this weekend’s clash at Anfield sitting sixth and 16 points adrift of leaders Manchester City with their Premier League title defence in tatters following three successive defeats at the hands of Brighton, City and Leicester.

Everton are only one place and three points behind their neighbours, though missed the chance to jump above them following back-to-back losses of their own against Fulham and City.

The previous Merseyside derby at Goodison Park in October was a fiery affair most notable for a Jordan Pickford challenge on Virgil van Dijk that left Liverpool’s defensive talisman requiring surgery on a knee ligament injury that looks set to rule him out for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.

England goalkeeper Pickford faced no retrospective action for that tackle, with Van Dijk’s injury the first in a long line of defensive setbacks to have since hampered Liverpool, who are also without Joe Gomez and Joel Matip for the long-term and were forced to use multiple different centre-back partnerships before delving into the January transfer market to sign Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies from Schalke and Preston respectively.

The events of October’s derby may have added extra spice to Saturday’s latest Liverpool vs Everton showdown, though Klopp says that his players will not be out for revenge.

Asked if that first game against Everton signalled the beginning of the end for their hopes of a successful title defence, the German said: “I don’t know what I will think back when the season is over, to be honest.

“I hope I will think of something nicer than this. It was an important day, for sure.

“Nothing will be carried over until tomorrow.

“A week, two, three weeks later when we got the diagnosis (on Van Dijk) it was good that we didn’t play Everton immediately again.

“We are all human beings and of course it was not nice but now it is long gone.

“We just don’t think about that any more but it is still a derby and that is enough to be motivated on the absolutely highest level, trying to play the best possible football you can play, and that’s it pretty much.”

Additional reporting by the Press Assocation.