Everton: Derby day has Arouna Kone buzzing

Everton Arouna Kone

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Striker Arouna Kone is relishing the chance to play in his first Merseyside derby and has backed Everton to make a real splash this season.

The 31-year-old joined the Toffees in 2013 but has only made 21 Premier League appearances to date due to injury problems.

He played just five times for the Goodison Park outfit in his first season before spending 14 months out of the game with knee ligament troubles.

A return of one top-flight goal from 12 outings hardly set the world alight last term but he has bagged two already this season and scored the equaliser before Everton went on to beat West Brom 3-2 on Monday evening.

Having failed to convince the club’s fans of his talent over the first two years, the Ivory Coast hit-man’s name was chanted by the fans earlier his week and the African knows just how vital it will be to put on another good display against the Reds.

“I’ve been waiting for this game because it is a derby and I want to play in it because for all players it is very important for the team to win this one,” he said.

Having flirted with the relegation places at times last season, the blue half of Liverpool are now sitting in fifth place in the table having lost just once this term.

And the former Sevilla star believes beating the Baggies can now act as catalyst to push on over the next few months.

“I think it was a really great performance for the team and a great victory,” he added. “If we can play like that then I think this year Everton will be able to do something in this league.”

Everton are 2.60 to beat Liverpool while Brendan Rodgers’ men can be backed at 2.80.

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