NO MERSEYBy Carl Markham
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists his and Everton counterpart Roberto Martinez's preference for possession football will take none of the intensity out of the 221st Merseyside derby.
After last season's 2-2 draw at Goodison park reds captain Steven Gerrard, frustrated after Luis Suarez had a last-minute winner ruled out, labelled the Toffees a "long-ball team similar to Stoke".
However, the match statistics did not back up his assessment and he retracted the slur a couple of days later.
When they meet again on the blue side of Stanley park today possession stats will be even more keenly scrutinised as new Everton boss Martinez has a ball-playing philosophy similar to the one Rodgers has implemented at Anfield.
But the reds manager does not think both teams trying to maximise their time on the ball will take any fire out of an encounter which has witnessed 20 red cards in 42 premier league meetings.
"it is going to be a fiercely competitive game," he said.
"It doesn't take the intensity out by having the football. The idea of having possession is to penetrate and have