Henderson will not be rushed back from injury: Klopp

Seventh-placed Everton have not conceded in seven of their last 10 league games, scoring 26 goals and suffering just one defeat in that run.

The Brazil duo embarked on a 6,000-mile trip back to Liverpool after representing their countries over the recent global break, jetting back only on Wednesday - but insists they are ready to play.

As this weekend's Merseyside derby approaches, only six points separate the two local rivals in a fixture which could prove pivotal to where each finishes this season.

"I love these kind of games", said Klopp. Next week it doesn't look like this too so we have to wait.

"It's only a question of time".

"Everton medical team made Ireland aware that McCarthy had an injury last week", the manager added. "The good thing about derbies is that you don't have to think about the situation in the league because these games stand for themselves".

Everton have been in great form that has seen them move into Champions League contention.

"That mentality will really be helpful to him now in not only coming to terms with what has happened but in setting out on the road to recovery and, over time, in him building himself once more to the level he has maintained over many years here at Everton".

"As with any injury, or suspension, when a player is unavailable it presents opportunity to other players". "The home performances and also some new, younger faces and players in the team brought more quality and freshness to the squad. We will do our best".

He is a special player for us but we will have a solution.

The powerful Belgium worldwide heads into the showdown in red-hot form having scored nine times in his last six league encounters, as well as finding the net for his country with a late equaliser against Greece last Saturday.

The task required of the centre-half on Saturday afternoon will be keeping Premier League top scorer Romelu Lukaku quiet. While the fixture has been known as the friendly derby with the blue-red divide running within families, it is also the most bad-tempered fixture in English football with 21 red cards brandished over the years. "We have the numbers and he is the No 9 that every manager would like in their team". It's not the best time, but nothing else to do.

"I hope, I believe we are stronger now", he said.

"He continued: "[In 2008] it was the fourth game of the season and we had already played Bayern, Leverkusen and someone else, but all everyone kept saying was, "You have to beat Schalke" - we were 3-0 down at half-time!

  • Julie Sanders