Tim Cahill has hailed the Merseyside derby as a footballing occasion only topped by the World Cup.

Cahill has scored five times in 15 previous derbies and hinted that he could feature despite being considered a doubt as he recovers from the shin injury inflicted by Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany´s stamp last weekend.

Cahill: “I think it is one of the biggest [matches] other than playing for your country in a World Cup. The derby is magical,”

“It is not only the day of the game, it is after, it is before, it is the grudges, the banter.

“For those 90 minutes the whole of Liverpool stops and you have countries around the world watching.

“Going into the game, whether you are injured or you have little problems whatever, it is forgotten.

“Everything is left on the pitch and for me, coming from Australia, I feel the same sort of attitude.

“I found it hard to get here, I have this opportunity so I just don´t want to miss a second on the pitch – I want to try to affect it, hence why I´ve had so much joy in the derbies.

“For the fans and for me it means everything because it is part of my life now.”

“You walk around the changing room and the club and all the staff are so passionate – you have to be blue, you can´t be red,” he added.

“That is instilled into you as a player and you take that on to the pitch. But it is a really respectful rivalry; I respect their club a lot and obviously they do us as well.

“It is a compliment that when sometimes I get some banter from Liverpool fans it is only because I have scored against them.”

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