Frank Lampard hinted at what tactic his Everton side will deploy to throw Liverpool off their game, and admitted fault in his infamous touchline spat with Jurgen Klopp.
Everton travel to Anfield on Sunday for one of the most important Merseyside derbies in recent memory. Anything other than a win for Liverpool would give them a mountain to climb in their quest to overhaul Man City atop the Premier League.
By contrast, Everton are scrapping for their lives at the foot of the table and Burnley’s 2-0 victory over Southampton on Thursday night has heightened their fears.
The Toffees secured all three points on their trip to Anfield last season when emerging with a 2-0 victory.
The Reds look a far more formidable proposition this time around, however, and Lampard revealed what’ll be the hallmarks of his side’s approach.
“This game brings a different energy to it. I expect passion, fight and desire. There’s not a game plan in the world that will work without that.
“We’re playing the strongest team, on form teams, in the league. You have to use that as a positive. We have to fight until the last minute, no matter what happens. We are the underdogs, that’s clear. But we have to fight.”
Everton prepping rough and ready approach
When probed further on how the contest will go, Lampard suggested his players will be right on the edge of what’s acceptable physically.
“We expect players to be physical, but on the right side of the law,” added Lampard. “I hope the referee sees that.
“At Goodison, we have had yellow cards become red cards. Maybe at Anfield it doesn’t go that way.”
Regardless, Lampard was under no illusion that an away day at Anfield given Liverpool’s current form is a daunting prospect.
He continued: “I’m a realist, you understand the position we’re in. I’ve played Liverpool, managed against Liverpool – it’s always daunting because you respect the level of player and manager they have.
“It’s a slightly different type of test, it’s why we’re in this game.”
Finally, Lampard was asked about his infamous touchline spat with Jurgen Klopp.
The two managers exchanged a series of verbal volleys on the Anfield touchline when Lampard was manager of Chelsea during the 2019/20 season.
Lampard was overheard shouting obscenities, though Klopp would have the last laugh with Liverpool winning 5-3 on the day before being crowned Premier League champions weeks later.
Keen to put the incident to bed, Lampard said: “All of us get it wrong at times.
“It was just a bit misguided from my point of view. I have seen Jurgen since then and everything is fine. We all move on because we understand what this game does to you at times.”