Liverpool star: We must not be ‘distracted by emotion’ in Everton clash

Dan Butterfield
Liverpool defender Joel Matip

Liverpool defender Joel Matip has urged his teammates to not get too emotional in the Merseyside derby against Everton on Sunday.

The rivals face off at Anfield on Sunday with the Reds looking to keep the pressure on Manchester City at the top of the table, whilst the Toffees fight relegation.

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The derby has seen a number of red cards in the past and Liverpool defender Matip has urged his teammates to keep their emotions in check when they face Frank Lampard’s side.

Speaking to, the Cameroonian said: “I enjoyed really every game against them because you see how it means a lot to the people, to the Liverpool supporters here in the town.

“Everywhere, you meet Everton [fans] and you know these kinds of talks. We can give our fans a big pleasure, a big favour if we win again.

“It’s a more emotional game but we have to concentrate on keeping on playing our game. Emotions can push but we should not be distracted by it.

“We have to keep on going and concentrate on the stuff we are doing, keep playing the way we play and just put more in.

“They have a lot of quality, a new coach and they will go for everything because for them it’s a big chance to make a big turnaround. For them it’s a big chance but we also know our chance and we have to knock them down.”

Liverpool are not only battling in the Premier League as they attempt to win four trophies this season.

They face Villarreal in the Champions League semi-final next week and despite the importance of that game, Matip is just concentrating on each game.

“We have experience with it but nevertheless, we just concentrate on the next game – that’s how we did it the whole season and it worked out for us. We want to deliver and we have to deliver. We are in good shape so let’s just keep on going.

“This is something special, to be at the end and still be there in every competition and be in range or in a good position. Exciting time.”

Matip has been in fine form this season and has remained relatively injury free, something he has failed to do in previous season. He has admitted his joy at being available more often but believes it is just down to luck.

“I’m really glad I could play the season without any big injuries. I just have to keep on going and hope I stay fit and still can help the team.

“Of course, I’m really happy every time I’m on the pitch and can wear the shirt.

“I think sometimes it’s the luck. We worked the whole time through, we adjusted always a few things and worked on a lot of things. But now I’m staying fit and hopefully it stays like this.

“Sometimes at the end you don’t know what the reason is but we have a lot of great staff in the medical team and they really take good care of me. Hopefully it stays like this.

“As you’re getting older you get a little bit of experience with these kinds of things and with your body maybe too, and this helps. You know when you maybe have to step down a little bit and when you can go.