• Premier League

Downing: Moyes 'must be desperate' to beat Liverpool

ESPN staff
May 3, 2013
Stewart Downing is ready to protect Liverpool's recent strong record against Everton © PA Photos

Stewart Downing believes his Liverpool team-mates can use home advantage to give themselves the psychological edge in Sunday's Merseyside derby.

Visitors Everton have not won at Anfield since Kevin Campbell's early goal gave them a 1-0 victory in September 1999. Manager David Moyes has not won on any of his 11 league and cup visits to Liverpool, although he has earned six draws.

In addition, Liverpool are unbeaten in their last five meetings with their neighbours, winning all three encounters last season - including a Wembley FA Cup semi-final - and gaining a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park last October.

Winger Downing thinks that winless run at Anfield will be a concern for Everton's players as they try to secure the away win that would ensure they finish the Premier League season as Merseyside's top club.

The 28-year-old told the Liverpool Echo: "The fact that they haven't won at Anfield for so long has to play on their minds. I am sure David Moyes will get right amongst them. He must be desperate to beat Liverpool.

"But we don't want that record to end. We did really well against Everton in the three games last season and we would have won at Goodison earlier this season but for Luis Suarez's goal being wrongly disallowed.

"We have to be ready and make sure we start well. It will be a good test for us and it will be tight with battles all over the pitch, but we're confident we can get another win."

Daniel Sturridge will make his Merseyside derby debut in attack as 30-goal top scorer Suarez serves the second game of a 10-match ban imposed for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

Sturridge scored twice as Liverpool, without Suarez, won 6-0 at Newcastle last Saturday. Downing sees that as a sign that Brendan Rodgers' side can cope without the Uruguay international.

"If Daniel keeps playing like that, we'll all be happy," the winger said. "His pace and power are a nightmare for defenders to play against and he gives the rest of us more space to play.

"Last week after all the controversy, people were asking: Can we play without Luis? Who is going to score the goals? To win 6-0 was the perfect response. We defended really well and looked like scoring every time we attacked.

"Of course we miss Luis, because he's such a good player. But we have others who can come in and do a job for us."

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