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Brendan Rodgers predicts intense derby

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers predicts an intense derby this weekend when The Reds travel to Goodison Park to take on Merseyside rivals Everton.

Despite both teams producing some great football so far this season, Rodgers believes it will be as fierce and tough as always and if his side can leave with all three points, they will go top of the Premier League and put pressure on Arsenal who take on Southampton later on in the day.

This is the 221st Merseyside derby and Rodgers believes it will be just as passionate as the 220 previous.

“It is going to be a fiercely competitive game,” he said. “It doesn’t take the intensity out by having the football. The idea of having possession is to penetrate and have aggression in your game.

“A lot of our game is based on that aggressive nature. It won’t take anything out of the game, it will only add to it.

“Our game is based upon the intensity of our pressure, to get the ball back as quickly as we can and look to have superiority with numbers around the ball.”

Martinez, who was in fact in line to replace Kenny Dalglish as Liverpool manager before Rodgers eventually did, is known to play possession football very similar to Rodgers and The Reds boss is aware that two similar styles will go head-to-head tomorrow lunchtime.

“When you analyse our last performance against Fulham and assess it over and above the result we were just short of 700 passes in the game, which for me is a sign of the fluidity and the fluency of the team as much as anything,” he said.

“Our rhythm in the game was good. We had nearly 70 per cent of the ball but with that we had 30 shots at goal and we scored four goals and could have had more.

“It just typified the confidence of the players and their belief.

“We are averaging two goals a game and whatever ground we go to we always feel we can score.

“We (he and Martinez) have the inherent belief of dominating the ball, controlling the game with the football rather than without and looking to play attractive, attacking football.”

Written by Alex Batt – @AlexBatt – @AlexsArticles

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