Raheem Sterling Mario Balotelli Jordan Henderson Liverpool
Liverpool will rely on Raheem Sterling [R] for goals, while Mario Balotelli will look to start firing for his new sideReuters

There was a deep sense of optimism in Merseyside before the start of the English Premier League season, with both Liverpool and Everton going gung-ho in the transfer market. However, those big arrivals have not quite been matched with results yet this season, and Liverpool and Everton will both be thinking: What better way to turn your fortunes around that with a Merseyside Derby win at Anfield.

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Liverpool have had a pretty disappointing start to their campaign, already losing three out of five matches this season, while Everton haven't done too well either, and currently sit in 14th spot with five points, one point adrift of their Merseyside rivals.

Both teams could do with a morale-boosting victory, and the opportunity is certainly there for one team to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and ignite that momentum that will take them towards the top of the table.

"We know we need to be better, we know we need to improve our performance levels," Rodgers said. "The derby gives us an opportunity to do that -- it provides a platform to go on a good, consistent run.

"It is a game to relish, full of tension and intensity. It can help spur us on. Everton are a good side, with very good players."

Last season Liverpool only had one game a week to worry about for much of the campaign, but with Champions League action now returning to Anfield, Rodgers does not have that luxury anymore. And, playing a midweek game pretty much every week is something that the team will have to adapt to as quickly as possible, otherwise the league might just run away from them.

"We're adapting to the midweek games now and we're trying to maximise the preparation time that we can," Rodgers told Liverpool's official website. "We didn't start at all last weekend, we were 2-0 down in seven minutes. It wasn't good for us.

"Certainly guys like Steven [Gerrard], Dejan [Lovren], the likes of Martin Skrtel, Alberto Moreno and others will be fresh and ready for the game [after being rested for the midweek Capital One Cup encounter]. They'll hopefully be fresh, fit and looking forward to the game."

Everton Seamus Coleman Leighton Baines
Everton are desperate to ignite their English Premier League campaignReuters

Everton have made a characteristic slow start to the season again, but with so much intense competition at the top of the table for a European place, Robert Martinez will be well aware of the importance of hitting their stride ASAP.

However, having suffered a scathing defeat at the hands of Liverpool at Anfield last season, Martinez and his Everton side will be wary of their opponents, even if the Reds might not be the same team anymore without their talisman Luis Suarez.

"We need to learn from that game in January," said Martinez talking about the heavy defeat. "It's a performance that you can take a lot from. We need to understand that Liverpool are going to be really strong out of the blocks, they're playing at home and they're going to be carrying a lot of momentum, and you should always expect that.

"But, from our point of view, I think we're ready now to go anywhere and be ourselves."

Team news: Liverpool: Daniel Sturridge could make a surprise return to action for the home team, with Rodgers, desperate for that goalscoring push, set to name the striker in the squad. "We'll be very happy to have Daniel back and we hope that can be this weekend," said Rodgers. "He certainly won't be match fit. He hasn't played for a few weeks. But it would be great to have him back because he's a wonderful player."

Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho remain doubtful for Liverpool, with Rodgers, again, hopeful the duo is passed fit in time for this most important of games, while Joe Allen and Glen Johnson might also miss out.

Everton: Bryan Oviedo made his comeback from injury in midweek, with the left-back appearing for the first time since January, but Seamus Coleman (head) and Steven Pienaar (groin) are doubts.

Lineups: Liverpool: Mignolet; Manquillo, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno; Henderson, Gerrard, Lallana, Sterling, Markovic; Balotelli.

Everton: Howard; Hibbert, Stones, Jagielka, Baines; McCarthy, Barry, Besic; Naismith, Lukaku, Mirallas.

Where to Watch Live

The Merseyside Derby is set for a 12.45 pm BST (7.45 am ET, 5.15 pm IST) start with live coverage on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2 in India. The big game can also be watched via live streaming online in India on Star Sports online. TV coverage in the UK will be on BT Sport 1, with the option to Live Stream available via the Watch option. Viewers in the UK can also listen to the match via radio on BBC Radio 5 Live or on the website. Catch the action in the US on TV on NBC Sports, while the game can also be Live Streamed online on NBC Sports Extra.

Australia viewers can Live Stream the action Fox Sports On Demand, while viewers in Canada can do the same TSN Go. Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can watch the match via Live Streaming online courtesy Bein Sports Connect, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can do the same via SuperSport online.

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