Louis Saha is adamant Everton v Liverpool is “not a normal game” ahead of the Merseyside derby clash this weekend.
The former Everton striker believes understanding the “magnitude and importance” of derby games is key to success when the whistle blows, particularly for the local players among the teams.
Saha spoke exclusively to RadioTimes.com ahead of the sides meeting live on BT Sport in a Saturday lunchtime clash.
Listen to the full Louis Saha interview on the Football Times podcast as he reveals his take on Carlo Ancelotti, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Liverpool’s best player. Available on Apple / Spotify / Acast.
He said: “Oh, it’s not. It’s not just another match. It’s a very special moment for local boys, for anyone who loves his club.
“Basically, the more players who really identify themselves as local boys, the more chance you have of winning the game. You understand the actual magnitude and importance of those moments for everybody.
“This is the magic, because when those players can actually relate the sensation of the fans, it’s an amazing show to everybody.”
Saha is no stranger to a game between intense rivals, being the only player to have taken part in the Merseyside (Everton), Manchester (Man Utd), North London (Tottenham), West London (Fulham) and Tyne-Wear (Sunderland) derbies.
He looks back fondly on his memories of the Merseyside showdown, citing battles between two players as moments that make you “enjoy being a footballer”.
He said: “I remember the passion that Tim Cahill could deliver in those moments, whether it’s tackling or scoring a goal, it was amazing to see that competitiveness with Steven Gerrard in midfield.
“You see that and you just enjoy being a football player.
“It’s not a normal game, we want to see intensity, we want to see people very motivated and be very authentic about this.”
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