Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed he 'hates' the brutal nature of Merseyside derbies as his team have often ended up suffering from refereeing decisions and in the treatment room.
The German, however, admitted that he won't be asking for protection from Michael Oliver at Goodison Park on Saturday as he would be labelled a 'soft German' - alluding to the name his opposing manager Sam Allardyce called him in 2015 when with Sunderland.
With a squad currently riddled with injuries, Klopp is wary of sustaining further damage against the Toffees which could spell trouble in their bid to progress into the semi-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday.
With horror challenges on Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson and Divock Origi still fresh in his mind from recent meetings, the Liverpool manager could be well within his rights to be alarmed. However, when asked if the referee needed to keep a lid on the passion, Klopp said as quoted by the Mirror: "You know the answer.
"But if I say it now then we will have someone not too far from here saying I am a soft German who is asking for help from somebody else. You don’t need me to say it. I don’t need the protection of somebody but the right decisions help a lot.
“You saw them as well. None of them were from our side, if I am right. But would anything change with whatever I would say now?
“I hope it is a football game. In the last few years there was at least one very harsh challenge in all the derby games. I hope we can go without that this time. We are ready for hard challenges, it’s a derby. We need to be on fire as well, and if we are then we have a good chance."
Everton have only beaten Liverpool three times in the league this millennium which is bonkers. And one of those was when Hodgson was Liverpool manager so it doesn't count.— Tim Bolton (@timbolton1) April 7, 2018
Whilst the German expects excessive aggression, he conceded that personally he cannot understand an approach to football which borders on causing permanent damage on the opposition - even in a local rivalry.
“It is a derby, and there are a lot of people out there who love this part of the game. I hated it my whole life. It is a fact that I never understood it. As silly as throwing something at a bus,” he added, making mention of the Manchester City bus at Anfield.
“Aggressive in a football way? No problem with that. How I said, if it is over the edge it makes no sense. Of course it will be very aggressive. Everybody has told them the last five weeks or longer that they haven’t won a derby in I don’t know how long.
“The derby is the most important game for all the people, and that’s how we have to do the job. People have dreams and expectations and ambitions. We have to show up. Nobody cares how difficult it is, we have to deliver. We know that."