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Oct 1, 2011

Gerrard up for derby clash

Liverpool talisman Steven Gerrard is excited by the prospect of playing in Saturday's Premier League clash against Everton, describing the Merseyside derby as "the best week of the season".

• Preview: Everton v Liverpool
• Lucas: Henderson will come good

Gerrard returned from injury in a Carling Cup fixture last month, his first appearance for the Reds since undergoing a groin operation back in March. The 31-year-old is now keen to make up for lost time as he steels himself for the match against Liverpool's fierce rivals.

"I think it's the best week of the season," he told the club's official website. "These are the two favourite games for me with Manchester United a close second. Because of the Merseyside rivalry and the buzz you get from beating them, it's probably my favourite game, so I'm looking forward to it.

"We'll just have to wait and see what Kenny [Dalglish] decides to do with the team and whether I'm going to be in from the start or on the bench, but whatever he decides I'll be ready."

The England midfielder is expecting a typically gritty affair at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon, but has urged his team-mates not to become involved in a physical encounter at the expense of playing their natural game.

"It's always tough. Obviously they have home advantage and so are going to have massive support, but we go there with no fear.

"We've got a very good derby record over the years at Goodison Park, so I don't see why we can't go there with confidence, play our own stuff, not get involved in a fight and I think if we can stay in the game in the first 15-20 minutes we'll come through and win it.

"We need to play without fear. Sometimes in derby games you can get involved in the fight and forget to play. It becomes a battle and a tussle rather than us settling and playing our own game.

"We like to pass and move, attack quick and stay compact when we haven't got the ball, so if we can settle really quickly into the game I'm really confident we can get the right result," said Gerrard.

• Catch action from every Barclays Premier League match on your mobile for FREE on the enhanced ESPN Goals app (UK only).

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