Moyes asks Everton team to ‘prove’ they are top dogs in Liverpool
David Moyes believes Everton deserve their billing as favourites for today’s Merseyside derby and has challenged his side to live up to it.
The Toffees have made a much better start to the season than city rivals Liverpool and go into the match six points ahead and looking to preserve an unbeaten record at Goodison Park this term.
Everton’s record in derbies in the decade since Moyes arrived at the club has been one of his biggest disappointments, with the Scot having won only four of 23 meetings.
Last season the Toffees finished ahead of Liverpool in the table but lost all three matches against the Reds, including painfully at Wembley in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
Moyes said: “I think we’re much closer. I thought we went into the FA Cup semi-final maybe slight favourites because of our form. It didn’t work out that way but I think over my time here we’ve been playing catch-up, which is right, we have to say that honestly.
“I think we possibly go into this game slightly ahead of Liverpool, but we need to show it, we need to prove it.”
As well as form, Everton can also point to other potential advantages.
Unlike Liverpool, who played in the Europa League on Thursday, they have had a whole week to prepare, while Reds boss Brendan Rodgers will be experiencing his first Merseyside derby, which Moyes admits can take some getting used to.
He said: “The way the Premier League is, the games are so intense, I do think if you can have a free week then it’s better, but if you asked me would I like to be in Europe, I’d rather be playing in Europe and going into a derby than not.
“Being in derbies of this magnitude is something that, once you do it, you actually realise what it’s like.
“I was fortunate to play in Old Firm games which sort of set me up for what to expect. I think being a manager in it is something slightly different but, once you get your first one under your belt, it makes you feel a lot easier. Brendan will have experience from Cardiff and Swansea derbies, which are fiercely contested.”
Everton’s success and Liverpool’s struggles have certainly given an added twist to today’s match.
The relationship between the two has not had the same heat as the battles between Liverpool and Manchester United in recent years, with Moyes admitting his side have not been seen as enough of a threat.
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