English Premiership

Reds are derby 'favourites'

2015-10-02 13:05
Roberto Martinez (Supplied)
Roberto Martinez (Supplied)

London - Everton manager Roberto Martinez ramped up the pressure on counterpart Brendan Rodgers, insisting that big-spending Liverpool were favourites in the 255th Merseyside derby on Sunday despite being lower in the Premier League table.

Fifth placed Everton have not beaten Liverpool in their past nine league meetings, but have never gone 10 games without a win against their neighbours in the Premier League.

Rodgers, who is under increasing scrutiny because of the indifferent form of his team sitting ninth in the league table, has spent a reported 300 million pounds since arriving at Anfield and Martinez was in no mood to let him forget it.

"We're showing good form, so maybe people see us as favourites.

"But if you look at the amount of money Liverpool have spent in the last three seasons, maybe you would say they are favourites," the Spaniard told reporters at his pre-match news conference.

Liverpool have lost just one of their last eight league matches at Goodison Park - a 2-0 reverse in October 2010 - but Martinez said the past was irrelevant, especially in the high-intensity environment of a derby.

"Being favourites or not doesn't matter in a derby - it's what happens over the 90 minutes," he said.

"I know how important derby victories are. It has extra significant meaning.

"Being involved in the derby is a privilege, a unique experience. But you can only enjoy it if you win," he added.

"The players are very much focused and aware how important the game is."

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