Sam Allardyce: Everton can stop in-form Liverpool in Merseyside derby

The Merseyside derby is unique in terms of its history and atmosphere, and therefore the key to success at Anfield this weekend is being able to cope with the pressure that comes with a match and occasion of this magnitude. Having the right mentality is everything.

We need to be strong and fearless, stick together as a team, and believe in our own capabilities.

Liverpool are probably in their best form since Jurgen Klopp arrived at the club, and they also boast one of the best strike forces around.

If we show any fear, Liverpool will take advantage of that. But if we show a positive attitude in terms of what we intend to do and how we intend to do it, we believe we can get the positive result that would mean so much to all Evertonians.

The coaching staff have spent the past week working hard on the training ground, instilling some of the basics that we believe in about team play: how we affect each other's game, how we live or die by our teamwork, how we work for each other, in and out of possession. And when we keep the ball, why are we keeping the ball?

It's a case of imparting information in small doses so it's retained, and I have to say the players' attitude and willingness to take what we have been saying on board has been really impressive.

The job of the manager and his coaching staff is to offer guidance so that the players do the right things, at the right time, and in the right areas.

Out of possession, how do we frustrate Liverpool and keep their fans quiet? Can we bring the tempo of the game down? How can we impose ourselves on the opposition so we pose them problems?

Liverpool are high on confidence after scoring five against Brighton last weekend, and then seven against Spartak Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday night, playing one-touch and two-touch football. But they can be stopped.

What we simply must not do is play into Liverpool's hands. If they do a high press, for instance, why are we going to play out from the back? Our game plan will be about playing in the right areas and playing the right way when we are in possession.

We succeeded in doing that when I was manager of Crystal Palace last season, coming from behind to win, and we will need to show similar determination and discipline if we are to serve up a repeat.

Derbies are also about your big players delivering big performances and no one will be more fired up for this game than Wayne Rooney.

As a passionate Evertonian, Wayne is desperate to do well, and since he has seen and done it all in a wonderful career, we hope he can use all that experience to deliver the kind of performance he gave against West Ham, when he scored a hat trick in our 4-0 win.

This is a one-off game, and whilst there is no denying Liverpool are playing well at the moment, it's a local derby where anything can happen. All we can ask of the players is to give their best, play their best game and let's see where it takes us.

After three straight wins and three clean sheets, the mood in the camp is really buoyant.

If we could manage to make it four wins on the bounce, it would put smiles on the faces of everyone in the blue half of Merseyside.