Everton v Liverpool: Leighton Baines delighted to skip Merseyside derby fever while on England duty

The game at Goodison Park is hugely anticipated

Everton defender Leighton Baines admits his involvement in England's two friendlies against Chile and Germany will help deflect some of the attention from the impending Merseyside derby.

The clash at Goodison Park appears to have taken on even more significance with the Toffees, sixth in the table, just three points behind their second-placed near-neighbours.

But in the interim there is an international break and while Baines admits derby fever is beginning to grow it is nice to get away from it all with England.

"When a derby is coming up everyone gets excited and you just want to get out there and do it," Baines told everton tv.

"But we get to switch off from it to some extent because a lot of us go away for quite important games for our countries and hopefully we'll come back together and get a good result."

Seamus Coleman, who will be linking up with the Republic of Ireland squad, is fully aware of how there seems to be much more riding on this encounter than previous years.

"It is a massive game and massive in terms of the table and we're all looking forward to that," he said.

"There is still the same excitement as my first one. Hopefully we can put on a good show."

Baines believes Everton's defensive stability has already had a major influence on their season, even if from an attacking point of view they have been frustrated on occasions.

Last weekend's goalless draw at bottom side Crystal Palace was their fourth 0-0 scoreline in the Premier League this season and second in succession.

"The positive is back-to-back clean sheets," he added.

"It makes it six in 11 games, which is a decent ratio."

PA

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