MARTIN KELLY admits he’s relishing the prospect of playing in Saturday’s Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
The young right-back impressed in Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Wolves at Anfield and proved he’s overcome his recent hamstring problems.
Kelly played in the 2-2 home draw with the Blues last season but was an unused substitute during the 2-0 defeat at Goodison.
“I’m really looking forward to playing in the derby if I’m selected,” Kelly said.
“I was on the bench there last season and it was a tough game. They started well and put us under pressure. We’ll be looking for the win but it’s a derby day and it’s always difficult.
“I’m feeling good. The medical staff have worked me a lot this week to keep me on top of the hamstring injury. It was about being sensible against Wolves and I thought I did that. I’m made up I’ve played the last two games and I’m feeling fitter than ever.”
Kelly believes Saturday’s victory over Wolves was the perfect boost heading into the lunchtime clash with David Moyes’ side.
Roger Johnson’s own goal and a stunning finish from Luis Suarez put the Reds in control before Steven Fletcher reduced the deficit.
“The early goal was vital and we got another from Luis,” Kelly said.
“We were unlucky not to get a third and it’s a pity we couldn’t because that would have sealed it but we were professional and saw the game off.
“It was a great goal from Luis. He’s playing at a high standard at the minute. He is even training the same way as he is playing and it’s fantastic to have him in the team.
“I thought we defended well, got through the game and it was vital we got the three points.
“We can build on this win. It was good to get a victory going into the derby. We needed it because it’s going to be a really tough game there.
“We’ll all have to work hard in training to make sure we’re ready for next week.”
Steven Gerrard came off the bench late on as he continues to build up his match fitness after six months on the sidelines.
The inspirational skipper played his part in ensuring Liverpool held on to their narrow advantage.
“We had the fans behind us and the return of Stevie especially lifted the crowd,” Kelly said.
“With Stevie to return, it’s going to cause the gaffer even more selection problems. But we’re all in it together.”
Meanwhile, Joe Cole scored his first goal for Lille in their 1-1 draw with Lorient. The Reds midfielder, who is on a season-long loan in France, fired home from 25 yards but Lille were denied by a late equaliser.
Cole became the first English player to score in Ligue One since Chris Waddle in March 1992.