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By ESPN Staff

Keane eager to break duck in Mersyside derby

Robbie Keane hopes Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez will give him a chance to register his first goal in a red shirt in the 208th Merseyside derby on Saturday.

The 28-year-old has yet to find the net for Liverpool in nine competitive appearances since his £20million switch from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer.

Keane has been on the bench for two of the last three matches but is optimistic Benitez will hand him a starting place for his first derby against Everton at Goodison Park.

"I think every player wants to be involved in big games and they don't come any bigger than Everton against Liverpool," Keane said.

"Playing against Everton is something that I'm really looking forward to. As a player you always want to play in games like this and I've been involved in a few derbies in my time.

"The north London derby with Arsenal while I was with Tottenham was fantastic and I'm sure this will be no different - and even better.

"It's the first one of the season so I think everyone is looking forward to it - especially me."

The omens are good for the Republic of Ireland striker, who scored a hat-trick against the Toffees back in 2003 while the previous incumbent of the number seven shirt - Harry Kewell - registered his first goal against the team across Stanley Park.

Keane though is wary of threat posed by David Moyes' side, who come into the fixture on the back of a third round Carling Cup exit at the hands of Blackburn.

"People say Everton are always a very physical side, and yes they are physical but they have attacking players who can go forward and score goals," Keane told the club's website, liverpoolfc.tv.

"They have players who like to play good football like Mikel Arteta, Tim Cahill and Leon Osman, so it will be a tough game and they look like a really solid unit too.

"Tottenham got quite a few good results against them while I was there, so hopefully that will be the same this time around with Liverpool.

"I think everything goes out the window with derbies. Form can give you confidence how you play, but things will be different because it will be two teams fighting for local pride on Saturday.

"My experience of derby games has taught me that each match is always completely different - no matter how well you've been doing in the league or how good the team you're playing against is."

Benitez is reported to be interested in signing Sao Paolo defender Aislan - but is only likely to pursue the player if the 20-year-old Brazilian qualifies for a work permit.

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