‘We know how important’ Merseyside derby is, says Liverpool’s Moses

Victor Moses said Tuesday's Liverpool v Everton clash 'will be key for us' as Liverpool look to hold onto the fourth Premier League Champions League spot.

Victor Moses and Liverpool are tied with Tottenham on points but own a plus-22 goal difference advantage. Dylan Martinez / Reuters
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Liverpool’s on-loan winger Victor Moses believes that the Merseyside derby at home to Everton in the Premier League on Tuesday could be a crucial moment in his side’s campaign.

Fourth-place Liverpool lead their sixth-place city rivals by a point ahead of the game and while Brendan Rodgers’s side are unbeaten in five games, Roberto Martinez’s Everton have gone six matches without defeat.

Both sides came through their FA Cup fourth-round ties unscathed at the weekend, Liverpool winning 2-0 at Bournemouth and Everton beating Stevenage 4-0, and Moses believes their encounter at Anfield will be “massive”.

“We’re looking forward to it,” said the on-loan Chelsea player. “We know how important the game is for us at the moment.

“We just want to keep working hard together as a team and hopefully, if we can get three points against Everton, it will be key for us.”

Moses is hoping to keep his place in Rodgers’s team after starting in the victory over Championship club Bournemouth on Saturday.

It was his first appearance since the previous round of the competition on January 5 and the Nigeria international marked his return with the opening goal.

“It’s up to the manager to pick his own players,” Moses said.

“I just want to keep on working hard in training and hopefully play as many games as I can.

“It was really important. I know I haven’t been myself for the past few weeks. But I started and got a goal.

“I just want to kick on from here and try to get a few more goals in the second half of the season. It’s crucial for me and the club as well.”

Daniel Sturridge scored Liverpool’s other goal in the triumph at Bournemouth, with top scorer Luis Suarez playing a part in both goals.

Moses said that the Uruguay striker was at the top of his game.

“We all know how crucial Suarez is for our side -- he’s one of the best strikers in the Premier League, scoring goals week in, week out,” Moses said.

“As soon as he saw me on the left side, he switched it over. The first touch was crucial for me, then I cut in and had a strike that went into the back of the net.”

Despite the significance of the match, Martinez expects an open game.

“I don’t think it will be cagey,” said the Spaniard. “I don’t think we have two teams who are too worried about defending.

“We are going to try and impose ourselves on each other, and try to control the football, and it will make it an open game.

“Our confidence is very high. We are excited, but we have to assess the injuries because we are losing too many players at the moment. Every club is going through the same period.

“If we can get one or two players back from the ones who weren’t involved on Saturday (against Stevenage), we will be in a great position to be as strong as we can on Tuesday.”

Steven Naismith scored twice as Everton beat League One strugglers Stevenage to progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup.

They were his first Everton goals since September, but Martinez believes the Scotland forward has an important part to play this season.

“Naisy has been a very important player for us from the start of the season,” Martinez said.

“I was glad he was able to play that number nine role where he has played a lot in his career, especially in Scotland, and I think he’s shown we have a really good option there.”

The victory over Stevenage was, however, partially overshadowed by a serious injury to Costa Rican Bryan Oviedo, who sustained a double broken leg that is likely to rule him out of the World Cup.