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Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold says players have got “something to prove” in the Merseyside derby.
The Reds make the short trip to Goodison Park on Wednesday evening to take on their fierce rivals. Fans will finally return to the Toffees’ stadium for the fixture for the first time since March 2019.
Speaking to the Liverpool FC website, the right-back said: “I personally like it, to be honest, just knowing you’re going into a hostile place where everyone wants to see you fail and do bad, it probably gives you that little bit more motivation.
“You feel… not arrogant, but you’ve got something to prove, which I’ve always felt. I like to perform in those arenas and atmospheres.”
Alexander-Arnold expecting tense environment
There are always fireworks when Liverpool and Everton come together. But things will undoubtedly be more escalated than ever for a number of reasons.
Firstly, as mentioned, it has been a long wait for supporters to watch this fixture at Goodison. Secondly, and more importantly, there will be huge tension between some of the players after the last meeting there. Jordan Pickford was lucky not to be sent off after clashing with Virgil van Dijk, while Richarlison did see red for his rash challenge on Thiago.
However, perhaps most significantly, a former Liverpool boss now sits in the Everton dugout. Rafa Benitez left the Reds a hero after lifting the Champions League trophy in 2005. But many fans have turned on the Spaniard since he made the switch to the blue half of Merseyside.
For these reasons and more, Alexander-Arnold is expecting a feisty encounter. But he believes that after all, it remains another game of football.
“We know that it’s going to be a loud one, a hostile one, for us going there but for us it’s 90 minutes of football,” added the full-back. “That’s what we do, that’s what we get paid to do, is to play 90 minutes and try to win the game.
“You strip back all the rivalry and the local derby away from it, it is still just 90 minutes of football and we have got a job to do out there.”
Right-back one of Liverpool’s standouts
Alexander-Arnold has undoubtedly been one of his team’s top players this season. He boasts one goal and seven assists from 11 league matches. He managed two goals and seven assists in the entirety of the last campaign, so it’s fair to say that he will impressively out-do those tallies this time around.
T🅰️🅰️, how may I assist you? pic.twitter.com/F9Z9tu1JCV
— Trent Alexander-Arnold (@TrentAA) November 20, 2021
The full-back also has three assists from three Champions League matches. Two of those came in the 2-0 victory against Atletico Madrid last month. Shortly after, the 23-year-old registered a hat-trick of assists in England’s win over San Marino.
The defender now has 40 assists in 140 league appearances for the Reds. He has scored nine goals in that time, and has kept 46 clean sheets.