Monday 19 August 2019

'We are ready for war' - Liverpool revved up for Derby showdown

Divock Origi lies injured during a Merseyside derby victory for Liverpool last season. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Divock Origi lies injured during a Merseyside derby victory for Liverpool last season. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Michael Walker

The days when Everton-Liverpool is referred to as the friendly derby have become increasingly rare and Divock Origi clearly does not view the Merseyside clash in that way.

"War," is the word Origi used when looking forward to tonight. "It will be a war."

Sometimes foreign players employ exaggerated language, but Origi perhaps can be forgiven as in April he suffered an ankle injury after Everton's Ramiro Funes Mori produced a tackle that even the Everton legend Peter Reid called "scandalous".

Funes Mori was shown a red card. The score was 2-0 to Liverpool at the time and 4-0 at the final whistle. The game was at Anfield, this one is at Goodison Park.

"It was an official message," added Origi when asked if Funes Mori had been in touch afterwards, "but these things happen. "I keep on looking forward and I am very excited for the next game. How will I feel? I don't know who is playing, but I am very motivated."

Origi was out for a month after that tackle but he returned to appear in the Europa League final against Sevilla, then at Euro 2016 for Belgium.

He is, as he points out, only 21, but Origi feels he is maturing and five goals in his last five Liverpool matches suggest growing confidence too.

"These are things that happen," Origi said of April's injury, "I came back stronger and I have to continue growing.

"But I think this is only the beginning. At the end I will have time to reflect on the season and see what is good and not good, but obviously I am feeling better and better and I am very happy that I am here and I can express myself on the field.

"I like to keep my goal target for myself but I am very, very ambitious. I always said I want to get the best out of my potential.

"This has given me confidence but still I have to grow and, like I said, now is not the time to be happy. I have to work hard, work hard and keep going."

After a small blip, when Liverpool lost at Bournemouth and drew with West Ham at home, Origi and Adam Lallana scored the goals that gave the Reds victory at Middlesbrough last Wednesday.

The slick manner of the win, Origi said, means that Liverpool will approach the Everton match, which will be very different in tempo and atmosphere, "in a very positive way.

"You want to win this game, you know it will not be easy. It is a derby so it will be special and a very big and important game for us as a club also." (© Independent News Service)

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