In Review

Liverpool vs Everton: Can Martinez survive Klopp test?

Under-fire Everton boss hopes to escape fate of Brendan Rodgers as Reds chief calls for calm

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp goes into his first Merseyside derby knowing that victory could catapult his side into the top six and leave them in with an outside chance of qualifying for the Champions League.

Nevertheless, the German has warned his players to keep their cool against their local rivals.

The Reds manager wants to "banish the Merseyside derby's reputation as the dirtiest game in the Premier League", says Chis Bascombe in the Daily Telegraph, and has even warned his players that in such a high-octane atmosphere, they should "be prepared to hurt yourself, not someone else". 

While Klopp's position at Anfield is completely secure, the same cannot be said of his Everton counterpart Roberto Martinez, who will hope to avoid the same fate as Liverpool's former manager Brendan Rodgers, who was sacked after the Merseyside derby earlier in the season.

A 1-1 draw at Goodison Park in October proved to be his final game in charge. He was given his marching orders an hour after the final whistle.

A poor performance at Anfield could have similar repercussions for the current Toffees boss, who is already facing calls for his head from some fans.

But the Spaniard "mounted a staunch defence of his reign" ahead of the derby, even though his side lie 11th in the table.

"In a nod to improvements in mentality and approach that he feels they have made since he took over from [David] Moyes in 2013, Martinez claimed that the club is no longer restrained by an inferiority complex that made failure inevitable," writes Tony Barrett of The Times.

"Despite growing disillusionment among the fan base, the manager believes the most discerning supporters can see that he is taking the club to a higher level than Moyes achieved."

However, his side were unable to beat Liverpool at their lowest ebb earlier in the season and have not won at Anfield since 1999. "It is in the face of Liverpool's improvement and Everton's record at Anfield that Martinez needs to find a way to preserve his club's honour and improve his own standing," says Barrett. 

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