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Liverpool star Thiago’s accidental Everton put down ahead of Merseyside derby

Liverpool and Everton go head-to-head in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday and in-form Reds midfielder may have stoked the flames by accident

Jurgen Klopp post Southampton press conference

Thiago has delivered what could be interpreted as the ultimate derby put-down!

In trying to turn down the heat on the fiery clash at Everton – which saw him and Virgil van Dijk both crocked in the same fixture a year ago, and forced into lengthy absences – the Spanish midfielder described it as ‘just another game’.

There was no real intention from the classy midfielder to diminish the contest or demean Liverpool ’s hated neighbours, but rather, an attempt to play down what is sure to be a boiling encounter.

In the game at Goodison last October, he was injured by a reckless challenge from Everton forward Richarlison, who was dismissed for serious foul play, and spent three months on the sidelines.

Van Dijk fared even worse, a wild lunge from Blues keeper Jordan Pickford catching him on the knee, and causing a cruciate ligament injury which ended his season.

Thiago is in fine form at the moment for Liverpool
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Image:

Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Both clubs though, want to avoid any unnecessary hype before the contest on Wednesday, and Thiago said: “It’s a derby, it’s always special. (But) We have to have in our mind it’s another Premier League game that we have to give (our) all. It’s our mindset.

“It doesn’t matter, it’s a derby for the crowd. For us, it’s just a game that we have to play now, away (from home).

“It’s the moment of the season that we were waiting for, to play every three days, have less training for sure. We want to play football. It doesn’t matter if it’s in one, two, three days, we just want to play football.”

Thiago’s words echoed those of manager Jurgen Klopp at the weekend, who – perhaps with half an eye on the upcoming derby fixture – said: “That’s the headline. Whatever they do, we pay them back with football.”

With Everton struggling after just one win in 10 matches, victory at Goodison could be seen as the perfect pay back for the injuries of last season, though Thiago is clearly too experienced and astute to say so.

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