October 25, 2012
Reds focused on Euro clash - Pascoe
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.7||0.7|
|Goals against *||1.7||1.7|
|Last 5 home||W-D-W-L-D||D-W-W-W-W|
|Last 5 away||L-W-L-W-W||L-D-L-L-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Liverpool | Anzhi Makhachkala|
Liverpool assistant boss Colin Pascoe insists the club's players are fully focused on Thursday's Europa League clash with Anzhi Makhachkala and that they will not be distracted by thoughts of the Merseyside derby.
The Reds make the short trip to Goodison Park on Sunday to face local rivals Everton knowing they will fall nine points behind the Toffees in the Barclays Premier League if they lose.
But before then there is a European assignment to be tackled with the visit to Anfield of Anzhi, the Russian outfit currently leading Group A after two rounds of fixtures.
Liverpool are third, and having been beaten at home by Udinese in their previous outing in the competition, they could do with bouncing back with a win to boost their qualification hopes.
That, according to Pascoe, is the only job the squad is concentrating on for the time being.
"With the next game, it is always the same,'' Pascoe said.
"The boys are looking forward to Anzhi. Everton against Liverpool is a massive game, but it hasn't been talked about and isn't being thought about at the moment.
"We are thinking just purely about the game tomorrow (Thursday).''
Liverpool will again be without Jose Reina and the Reds are unsure whether or not the goalkeeper will recover from his hamstring problem in time to play in Sunday's game.
Makhachkala manager Guus Hiddink has backed Liverpool to "resurrect'' and become a major force in football again.
"Of course, at that time they (Liverpool) had different players and were more leading in the Premier League,'' he said.
"This season they have had a problematic start, but this is a huge institution - it will always recover.
"Liverpool will always resurrect and come up to the top where they belong.''
Hiddink became Anzhi boss in early 2012 and the nouveaux riche club are currently leading both Europa League Group A and the Russian top flight having lost only once in 21 games this term.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are third in the group and 12th in the Premier League, but Hiddink feels Brendan Rodgers' side are the favourites.
"You have to realise that the Premier League is one of the leading leagues in the world of football,'' said Hiddink.
"Although Liverpool are not in the top three at this moment, they have some experienced players and they are going for this competition and looking to go further in Europe.
"They are favourites and not us. I think Liverpool are the favourites in this group.''
Anzhi have former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto'o in their squad, but their ex-Chelsea and Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra is injured.