Arouna Kone says Everton can finish above Liverpool this season

The versatile forward has issued a warning shot ahead of today’s Merseyside derby.

Everton forward Arouna Kone has stated that his club can finish above fierce local rivals Liverpool in the Premier League this season, as reported by The Liverpool Echo.

The Toffees host the Reds in today’s Merseyside derby and find themselves a point ahead of Brendan Rodgers’ side after seven games of the new campaign.

With Roberto Martinez’s men looking confident and Liverpool struggling for consistency after a lot of personnel changes over the summer, Kone has stated that Everton are ready to become Merseyside’s dominant team.

“This might be the year that Everton finish above Liverpool again,” the former Wigan Athletic star told The Liverpool Echo.

“The reason is nothing to do with Liverpool but I think we’ve made a good start, it’s been solid, and I think through the difficult times of last season a lot of our younger players have benefited from that experience and gained in strength.

“On Monday we came from 2-0 down at West Brom to win and in past seasons we haven’t shown that and been mentally strong enough.

“Our game management has improved now that we’ve gained some experience and for that reason I hope we can finish above Liverpool.”

Unlike Liverpool, who drew 1-1 with Sion in midweek, Everton do not have the distraction of the Europa League this season and can solely focus on domestic responsibilities as a result.

Last term Martinez’s men were guilty of spreading themselves too thin as a result of progression in Europe, which meant they were not able to challenge for a top-six place in the Premier League.

A win today for the Toffees could potentially take them as high as third place, while also piling even more pressure on their fierce rivals and their under-fire manager.

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