Everton's David Moyes expects feisty Merseyside derby
Moyes downplays significance of derby
Everton boss David Moyes is expecting a typically "feisty" Merseyside derby against Liverpool on Sunday.
With both teams struggling at the lower end of the table, the game at Goodison Park is sure to be fiercely contested.
The last game between them featured two red cards, including one for Sotirios Kyrgiakos for a tackle that seriously injured Everton's Marouane Fellaini.
"Parts of derbies are the challenges, sometimes not-so-good challenges. It is always a feisty occasion," said Moyes.
"I don't see why this one would be more than any other game. Maybe it is because tackling has been debated a bit at the moment.
I have been surprised by Liverpool's results because they are a good side. But I don't think anyone would expect Liverpool to be in this position come the end of the season, just like I don't think anyone expects Everton to be in this position
"It shouldn't put any more focus on the game because if it does it would probably ruin the spectacle.
"We don't want the bad tackles but this is why people talk about the derby and are excited about it. What they expect from managers and players is a bit of commitment.
"We don't want to see bad injuries but we don't want to stop tackling. I wouldn't want to manage teams that couldn't tackle."
Fellaini missed most of the second half of last season after suffering an ankle injury in the challenge with Kyrgiakos, who was rightly dismissed in a fiery encounter at Anfield in February.
Everton's Steven Pienaar was also red-carded in a game that ended 1-0 to Liverpool.
Both Fellaini and Pienaar will miss Sunday's match, with the former set for six weeks out with a hamstring injury suffered while on international duty with Belgium this week and the latter still recovering from a groin problem.
The Toffees are also likely to be without defender Phil Jagielka, who pulled up with a hamstring injury while training with England in midweek.
The injuries are major blows to Everton as they seek to build on their 2-0 away win over Birmingham last time out and climb up the Premier League table, in which they lie 17th with six points from seven matches.
However, Moyes is confident his side can turn their fortunes around.
"We are all disappointed we have not got the results we thought we would have, but they have played with confidence throughout and never lost the belief," he said.
"I think we have got a lot of belief it will all come good before the end of the season."
Liverpool are in a similarly precarious position in the table, with the same points total as their rivals but one place below them - and in the relegation zone - on goal difference.
However, some of the doom and gloom surrounding Anfield has been lifted this week following the takeover of the club by New England Sports Ventures, who on Friday seized control from previous owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.
Moyes, though, does not feel matters off the pitch will have any bearing on it come Sunday between two sides he feels are currently occupying false positions in the table.
"What other matters have the players had to concern themselves with? I think you just get on with the game," he said.
"Football players are professional, you go onto the pitch and it is 11 v 11.
Liverpool will bounce back in derby - Hodgson
"I have been surprised by Liverpool's results because they are a good side. But I don't think anyone would expect Liverpool to be in this position come the end of the season, just like I don't think anyone expects Everton to be in this position.
"We are because we have not played well enough and not won the opening games. We have to try to do better."
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson was understandably happy to see the uncertainty over the club's future resolved, describing it as "very good news for us going into the important match at the weekend".
They have also received positive news on the injury front, with striker Fernando Torres declared fit following an abductor strain and left-back Paul Konchesky recovering from a hamstring injury.
However, Dirk Kuyt is set for a month on the sidelines after twisting his ankle playing for Netherlands in midweek.
The last time Liverpool played they suffered a shock 2-1 home defeat by promoted side Blackpool and Hodgson believes the derby is the perfect game for his side to bounce back.
"We've had two weeks to chew and to savour that defeat and, what's more, we've done it with three or four professional players at the club and a mass of academy players because the rest were all away with their international teams.
"Having a game with the magnitude and interest of a local derby against our fiercest rivals is the ideal way to bounce back if we are capable of doing so, and I hope we are.
"I think we will be ready for that game and Everton will be as well. It's going to be a very tight and intensive match."
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