Liverpool & Everton rivalry different to Old Firm, says Aiden McGeady

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Liverpool v Everton: McGeady wants to end Anfield record

Everton winger Aiden McGeady says he does not believe the Merseyside derby has the same level of hatred as Old Firm games between Celtic and Rangers.

The 28-year-old, who spent six years at Celtic, is set to feature in his second game against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, having come off the bench in a 4-0 defeat in January.

"Growing up as a Celtic fan, it's more about religion there. There's a real hatred," he told BBC Football Focus.

"The Merseyside derby is different."

The Republic of Ireland international added: "From what I have seen of games between Liverpool and Everton there's probably that dislike there, but I've heard of some dads being Everton fans and sons being Liverpool fans - it's a different sort of rivalry."

Aiden McGeady played for Celtic against Rangers, as well as for Spartak Moscow against CSKA Moscow
Aiden McGeady played for Celtic against Rangers, as well as for Spartak Moscow against CSKA Moscow

His first experience of the Merseyside derby came in only his second Premier League appearance for Everton, after joining the club from Russian side Spartak Moscow.

McGeady failed to score in his first few months at the Toffees, but got off the mark with a goal in the 2-2 draw at Leicester in this season's opener.

Since then, he has impressed as part of an attacking front four alongside Steven Naismith, Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku.

The midfielder believes Toffees boss Roberto Martinez has played a key role in his early season form.

"He is probably one of the best I've seen tactically," added McGeady.

"He's part of this new breed of manager coming through, everything is attacking football, possession, just some of his little ideas on positions and variants of play I've never seen before.

"You can always learn in football and he's opened my eyes a little bit.

"Probably last season I was more concerned with not giving the ball away, as opposed to doing what comes naturally, this season I am more comfortable and relaxed in the team and it has given me more confidence and belief in myself."

Lawro's Merseyside derby prediction
"It's not been a good start for Liverpool in any department to be honest, but I look at their team and think they will get better.
"The same could be said about Everton. They have been up and down so far this season and, like Liverpool, they have problems at the back. You just know they will have a real go at Anfield, though."
Read Lawro's full prediction and score

Everton have not struggled for goals this season, having managed to score at least twice in each of their five Premier League games.

However, their defence has been their weakness, with the 13 goals they have conceded the highest in the league.

Liverpool will hope to capitalise on that and kick-start their season with a victory.

When the Reds beat Everton in January, they went on a run of 11 wins from 12 games.

This season, they have won just two of their first five games, and manager Brendan Rodgers said: "The derby provides a platform to go on a good, consistent run.

"Last season, we had a great spell after our win over them and I think we collected 36 points from then onwards.

"It is a game to relish, full of tension and intensity. It can help spur us on."

You can watch the full Football Focus interview on BBC One on Saturday at 12:10 BST.

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