Enrique blow for Liverpool

Everton manager Roberto Martinez. Picture credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Paul Hyland

LIVERPOOL'S preparations for this weekend's Merseyside derby have suffered a blow after defender Jose Enrique was ruled out with a long-term knee injury.

It's understood the Spaniard has been struggling with the problem for some time and has featured just twice in the Reds' last five matches.

And there has been further disruption behind the scenes as academy director Frank McParland and head of coaching Rodolfo Borrell have both been removed from their posts.

Meanwhile, Roberto Martinez is relishing the prospect of his first Merseyside derby, a fixture he believes is "as big and good as a football game can be".

"It is a massive game," said Martinez of Saturday's Goodison Park clash.

"First and foremost it is a glamourous fixture – it is one of those games that are followed worldwide and the significance, history and passion are all reflected in the game.

"But I think this one is even more important because it has got that football significance. Both teams are in the top six, both teams have had a very strong start to the season."