Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino insists he is not afraid of the physical demands of Premier League football.
The Brazilian admits he is perceived as being small in stature by some observers – he is 5ft 9in and weighs around 76kg – but he insists that doesn’t deter him from competing with physically imposing defenders.
Firmino is getting ready for Monday night’s Merseyside derby against Everton at Goodison Park and he won’t be allowing himself to feel inferior.
“There is no fear at all,” he said. “Sometimes people see you as skinny and then they think ‘he is not a strong player’, but what matters is what you feel and what you do inside the pitch.”
Liverpool bounced back from a run of one win in four Premier League games with a comprehensive display in the 3-0 win at Middlesbrough last time out.
Firmino has scored five league goals in 15 appearances so far this season for Jurgen Klopp’s side and he says he has long since decided that physical stature is not going to impede his progress.
“Maybe when you are younger, playing against huge centre-backs might cause some fear to you, but when you are an older player there is no more fear.
You simply play as best you can and go about your work,” he added. Everton go into the Merseyside derby off the back of a morale-boosting home win over Arsenal, the Toffees’ first win in seven league outings.
Liverpool are 11 points clear of their Stanley Park neighbours going into the Goodison showdown.
The Reds are 1.91 to win, with Everton 4.20 to make home advantage count and the draw available at 3.60.