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Dalglish hopes Liverpool players survive the derby occasion

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish hopes his players don't add to the 19 red cards in 14 years when Everton visit Anfield on Sunday for the Merseyside derby. Dalglish will walk out of the Anfield tunnel as Reds boss for the first time in nearly 20 years but will be telling his charges to play the game and not the occasion.

"The players here know the importance of the derby and sometimes the local lads get carried away and are too motivated and get a bit heated," said the Reds boss, who is without the injured Jamie Carragher and suspended Steven Gerrard.

"Nowadays if you say 'Good morning' to someone you've got a chance of getting a red card.

"But you can't blame players for being passionate and committed - they've been highly criticised for not being passionate and committed.

"If there is a bit of understanding from the officials I'm sure it would ease things along a bit.

"You have to be intelligent - the fact it is a derby doesn't change the rules of the game, they are exactly the same.

"But you have to go and compete, just as you have in every other game.

"We want to see the players competing but within the rules of the game and if I have 11 players on the pitch we have a chance of winning."

 It's all kicking off again! Click here for the No1 coverage of Liverpool's winter market transfer news.

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Dave Williams

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