Liverpool forward Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring against Stoke in the English Premier League, 12 January. Reuters
The last Merseyside Derby between Liverpool and Everton served up a cracker, with early goals, late strikes and some brilliant attacking football making it one of the best matches so far in this English Premier League season.
If Liverpool and Everton serve up even remotely as good a game as that at Anfield on Tuesday night, then everyone will be in for another treat.
Only one point separates the two neighbouring teams at the moment, and a win for either might just prove to be the difference between which side grabs a firm hold of that final Champions League place.
"Normally in derbies you have got a team that has got a bigger need than the other to win for whatever reason," Everton manager Roberto Martinez said. "Now it is not the case because we are going into a Merseyside derby where there are two teams with a similar amount of points, both having good moments in the season and both still in the FA Cup.
"It is a game that has got every single ingredient to be important and then, on top of that, everyone knows the meaning of the Merseyside derby."
The first Merseyside Derby of the season ended 3-3 at Goodison Park in November, with Daniel Sturridge grabbing a late equaliser, after a Romelu Lukaku brace had seemingly put Everton on their way to a thrilling win.
Rodgers hopes there will not be too much of that heart-pounding action on Tuesday. "From a coaching perspective, you always hope that it will be different," Rodgers said. "Sometimes the tactical element goes out of the window and the whole atmosphere can dictate that the game goes a different way.
"It's important that you retain your composure in order to play and have that confidence with the ball. That would certainly be a message for the players. When you're the home team, you look to really go and attack the game. But it's very important in games like this that you have that tactical discipline as well.
"We expect to win when we're at home, whether it's Everton or any team we play against and tomorrow night will be no different. I thought the last derby was another example of the resilience that we've highlighted a number of times this season. We were in front in the game and Everton came back well into the match and then went in front.
"It showed that we are a team that never gives up. We keep fighting right to the end and to get that point showed the real character of our squad."
Everton, at the moment, with Martinez spreading plenty of that footballing joy around, are in as good as a position to pick up that elusive win at Anfield - not since a Kevin Campbell winner in 1999 have the Toffees enjoyed victory at Anfield.
Martinez has shown this season he is the man to inspire his side to wins in big matches, and there really is nothing stopping this talented Everton side from toppling Liverpool at their own backyard.
Everton have looked really good under manager Roberto Martinez. Reuters
"Before the game at Old Trafford and the Emirates there was a question whether we were mentally ready to be ourselves whatever the situation," Martinez said. "I think we have proven we can be. The way we performed at the Emirates and the way we got the three points at Old Trafford shows that the team is ready to go anywhere and impose themselves.
"Those are the games that if you want to achieve big things, you need to enjoy them and embrace them. If you are not going to enjoy those games, you are not going to be at your best.
"But you need to remember that Liverpool are a really good side and they have an attacking threat, so that will make for an open game. From that point of view, it's about making sure we are as good as we can be on the day and go there with nothing to fear."
Team news: Liverpool: Lucas Leiva and Mamadou Sakho are sidelined along with Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates. Joe Allen, though, has a chance to make it to the squad, with Rodgers set to take a late call on the midfielder's fitness.
Everton: A late decision will also be made by Martinez on whether to include new signing Lacina Traore in his squad. "Lacina will arrive today [Monday] and we're going to bring him into the squad as soon as he's ready," Martinez said. "It's a little early to tell if he'll be able to make the derby or not but he'll be working with us from today."
Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin, Ross Barkley, Steven Pienaar, Seamus Coleman and Antolin Alzaraz are all doubts, while Arouna Kone and Darron Gibson remain sidelined.
Key men: Liverpool: Luis Suarez and Sturridge scored in the last Merseyside Derby, with the former finding the back of the net in three of his last four games against the Toffees.
Everton: If Liverpool have their two great strikers, so does Martinez courtesy Lukaku, who will be the man the blue half of Merseyside turn to for goals, with the big Belgian scoring four goals in four games against the Reds in the Premier League.
Expected lineups: Liverpool: Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Toure, Flanagan; Allen, Gerrard; Henderson, Suarez, Coutinho; Sturridge.
Everton: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Mirallas, Osman, McGeady; Lukaku.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail: