Klopp impressed by 'improved' Everton ahead of Merseyside derby

Marco Silva's Everton is in good form ahead of the Merseyside derby on Sunday, and Jurgen Klopp expects a tough game at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool doesn't need motivation because it lost to Paris Saint-Germain Wednesday.   -  Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp is ready for the toughest Merseyside derby of his Liverpool tenure as it prepares to host an in-form Everton at Anfield on Sunday.

The home side will hope to bounce back from a midweek defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, with the 2-1 reverse on French soil dropping it out of the qualification places in a tightly-contested Group C.

Yet Liverpool's players must quickly forget about Europe and switch their focus to Everton, which has picked up 16 points in its last seven Premier League outings to rise up to sixth on the table.

Klopp insists the loss to PSG has no bearing ahead of such a "special game" against an opponents which has improved in the 2018-19 season under the stewardship of Marco Silva.

"I don't understand why we needed a defeat in Paris to be fully motivated for the Everton game," Klopp told the media. 

"It's a special game. Since I've been here, it always felt different, always was different during the preparation. The only bad thing is that we never have enough time to really prepare for it.

"You have a big game, then a few days later you play the next one. In an ideal world, we would have a week to prepare for it. All the rest is exactly like it should be.

"The games were always difficult in the past few years, but the improvement of Everton is obvious. It's a completely different team, a different style."

While Klopp has plenty of derby experience since moving to Merseyside, it will be the first taste of the occasion for opposite number Silva.

The Liverpool boss believes the current Everton squad poses the biggest threat to its neighbours and feels it would have no trouble competing at the top end in any other league in Europe.

"Since I've been here, Everton has always been really busy, but this is the best-tuned squad, 100 per cent," the former Borussia Dortmund manager said.

"They brought in a player that he [Silva] wanted because he knew him - Richarlison, and what a player he is. Last year [Theo] Walcott came in, then Bernard came in this year, [Andre] Gomes came in this year, [Lucas] Digne came in this year.

"Everything is there, creativity, speed, good organisation. [Seamus] Coleman is back and fit, [Micheal] Keane settled and fit - and a brilliant player for their build-up -  then Digne is like the young [Leighton] Baines, if you want. They have a really good team, then England's number one in goal [in Jordan Pickford].

"That is a proper squad, and it would be in all leagues in Europe. I'm 100 per cent sure they would be a European team in whichever competition. In England it's quite difficult, yet their development and improvement is obvious."

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos