Liverpool captain Gerrard relishing Everton reception

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is looking forward to a boisterous reception when the Reds meet Everton in what could be the veteran’s last Merseyside derby, ESPN has reported.

Gerrard has confirmed he is to leave Anfield at the end of the season, when his current contract will expire, and is to join MLS side LA Galaxy. The 34-year-old has said he doesn’t expect the home supporters to give him a good-natured send-off, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We’ll have to wait and see on that one,” Gerrard said when the question of the reception he will receive was raised. “I had some stick from an Everton fan yesterday but it is part of my life living in this city.

“I love the banter with Everton fans,” he continued. “It’s what it’s all about. It’s about rivalries and big games of football. I’m up for all that. I don’t mind it at all. Bring it on, as far as I’m concerned.

“It will be my last derby and it will be someone else’s turn to be in the spotlight. It becomes Jordan Henderson’s problem and Jon Flanagan’s problem [as a local lad] because the Everton fans will soon turn on them.”

Gerrard is the second-highest scorer in the history of Merseyside derbies, behind only former Liverpool striker Ian Rush, and scored the last hat-trick in the fixture in a 2012 Liverpool win over the Toffees.

Liverpool go into the game in seventh place, five places and 12 points better off than the hosts. Everton boss Roberto Martinez has yet to win a Merseyside derby, last season’s Goodison Park meeting ending in a 3-3 draw, the game at Anfield being won by Liverpool and this season’s game at Anfield ending 1-1 with a late Phil Jagielka equaliser.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Everton v Liverpool

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