Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge just another opponent, claims Everton ace

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge could be in contention to start the Merseyside derby at Everton.

Everton defender John Stones has played down Daniel Sturridge’s possible involvement in the Merseyside derby by stating that he is just another opponent, the Daily Star report.

The Reds go into the match at Goodison Park in good form and buoyed by the return of Sturridge following a lengthy injury lay-off.

The England international proved last weekend just how much the Reds have missed him – clinically netting his side’s second goal in the 2-0 win over West Ham United.

It remains to be seen whether Brendan Rodgers risks starting him against the Toffees but, judging by his goal scoring ability, the hosts could be forgiven for hoping he stays on the bench.

Former Barnsley defender Stones is, however, relaxed about the possibility of facing the highly-rated striker.

"They put their team out, we put ours out and we try to stop their assets and they try to stop ours,” he explained, quoted by the Daily Star.

"I know Sturridge has just come back from a lengthy time out and he scored the other day but it's just another game for us and for him.

"You could say he's up there in terms of movement. There are a lot of Premier League strikers who have good movement but can't score, there are a lot of things that come together in his case.

"I knew him well from watching his clips, watching him with England and training with him. Obviously his pace and his goalscoring ability is massive, that's why he's up there with the best."

Roberto Martinez’s men go in to the encounter off the back of just two wins in 12, though last weekend’s tight victory at Crystal Palace will have undoubtedly boosted morale in the camp.

The corresponding fixture at Anfield finished in a 1-1 draw, and if offered now it’s likely that both managers would accept a similar outcome this time around.

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