Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva feels that a win over Everton this coming weekend could help his side finish ahead of their Merseyside rivals in the league.
The Reds currently trail David Moyes’ men by five points with just three more games left, but will have the opportunity to abridge this gap to two points with a win when both sides lock horns in a crunch derby game at Anfield this Sunday.
Everton are also yet to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, meaning that Liverpool will still be sniffing the chance of meeting their last, less-profound aim of topping their neighbours in the final standings.
On the other hand, Liverpool’s two remaining fixtures are relatively easy in comparison. Brendan Rodgers’ troops will visit Craven Cottage to take on Fulham a week after the Everton game and will conclude their campaign at home against already relegated Queens Park Rangers.
Fresh from their 6-0 trouncing of Newcastle United – which allowed them to surpass their previous season tally of 52 points – Lucas thinks his side can still edge Everton in the table, but admitted they will need to beat their neighbours to do that.
The 26-year-old claimed the team’s confidence was booming after the Newcastle win, and was upbeat about signing off from the season on a high.
He told the reporters: “We still have a chance of catching Everton and that's our target. We know we have to win if we want to finish a position higher than we are now.
"Merseyside derbies are always special to play in. The atmosphere will be amazing at Anfield and it's the kind of game you really look forward to playing in.
"We will go into the derby with a lot of confidence. Hopefully we can get another win and try to finish the season on a bit of a high.
"It's been a difficult season for us but we have to keep going. We still have three games remaining and the chance to get nine more points. The manner of our victory against Newcastle showed the character of everyone.”
History could be on the line when Everton visit the Anfield as a win for the Toffees would mark only the first time since 1937 that they would finish ahead of Liverpool in the league in successive seasons.
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