(Reuters) - Denting Liverpool's Premier League title hopes will be the added motivation for Everton when they take on their arch rivals in Sunday's Merseyside derby, defender Michael Keane has said.
Liverpool are unbeaten in 18 games against their neighbours since a defeat in October 2018 and Keane said that hurting the leaders' chances of winning a first league title since 1989-90 would please Everton fans.
"It's not the main reason we want to win the game. We want to win the game for ourselves," Keane told Sky Sports.
"We're chasing seventh place ourselves, but in the back of our heads, if we can take points off Liverpool and get a win, that will dent their title chances which is great. That should make the fans happy.
"We want to put in a performance and we want to win the game, and we want the fans to be happy. If that's what they want, then that's what we want."
Everton, who were beaten 1-0 by Liverpool in December, are ninth in the table with 36 points and Keane is confident they can climb to seventh and come into contention for a place in European competition.
"Seventh is still within our grasp. We know we've got the players capable of getting there, and we know we can put in the performances needed," the centre back added.
"It's just a case of being able to do it consistently, which we haven't done for the last three months so we're going to have to change and we're going to have to improve. Hopefully we can do that and find ourselves there come the end of the season.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)