Rats: Derby A Unique Experience
Former Blues skipper previews Sunday's clash at Anfield.
Kevin Ratcliffe says Everton must control their aggression if they are to prevail at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
The derby is notorious for being the Premier League fixture with the most red cards and the former Blues skipper – a veteran of 32 Merseyside derbies – believes David Moyes’ side must not let their huge desire to win cloud their decision-making in the pressure-cooker atmosphere.
No fewer than 20 players from both teams have been dismissed since the top flight was rebranded at the start of the 1992/93 season.
“It’s quite a unique day,” the 52-year-old Welshman told evertontv.
“You don’t get a day like that [often] where Liverpool and Everton supporters are sitting next to each other, where you have bunches of Liverpool supporters in the Gwladys Street and bunches of Everton supporters in the Kop.
“You don’t get that in any other derby game. It is a unique experience and some people can handle it and some people can’t.
“I don’t think they are as fierce as they used to be but they are certainly more fierce than most Premier League games.”
“It’s strange with the derbies – you can be in great form but it doesn’t just happen and you don’t handle the day well,” added Ratcliffe.
“I must admit, I think that at the moment Liverpool do handle it quite well on derby days. They seem to handle the way that the game goes.
“They seem to be more controlled with their aggression and the intensity of the game. That’s what we have got to try and do.”
Ratcliffe also believes that victory at Anfield would be further evidence that Everton deserve to finish above their rivals in the Premier League table.
“It’s a balanced side and league position will tell you that we are better than them [Liverpool],” Ratcliffe explained.