Mignolet says Lukaku 'has all the ability' ahead of crunch derby
Romelu Lukaku must be kept quiet if Liverpool are to record a crucial win over rivals Everton, says Simon Mignolet.
Simon Mignolet is aware Liverpool will have to find a way to deal with in-form Romelu Lukaku if they are to keep their impressive Merseyside derby run against Everton going.
Liverpool host Everton in the Premier League at Anfield on Saturday, the Reds hoping to extend a sequence that has seen them avoid defeat against their city rivals since 2010.
Mignolet will be in direct competition with his Belgium team-mate Lukaku, who is top of the league's scoring charts with 21 goals, nine of which have come in his last six top-flight games.
The goalkeeper says he and Divock Origi have discussed the match at length with Belgium colleagues Kevin Mirallas and Lukaku - who he says has everything required to reach the top - during the international break.
"Lukaku is in a good moment and we will have to deal with him," Mignolet told Sky Sports.
"He has all the ability he needs to be a very good player in the Premier League. He has strength, finishing and he is very important for Everton.
"He can do as much as he wants to do in his whole career, we just have to try and keep him quiet this Saturday. We have to prepare ourselves for that but it is Liverpool against Everton, not us against Lukaku.
"With Romelu, Kevin and also Divock there has been some back-and-forth.
"When you spend 10 days together with them in the same hotel and you know you are playing the Merseyside derby afterwards, especially as a keeper facing them, it gives you a bit of insight and information, but the same goes for them.
"I think it is nice to play against them but it is much more about the club getting three points."
All smiles at Melwood as preparations for the Merseyside derby continue! pic.twitter.com/nVQ6yGSRd7— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 30, 2017
The stakes are high for this derby, with Everton now only six points behind fourth-placed Liverpool as they seek a first Anfield win since 1999 and one that could be crucial in the race for a Champions League spot.
"Of course there is much more at stake than the three points," said Mignolet.
"There is bragging rights but when it is kick-off time we will step onto the pitch and we have to see it as our job.
"That [a top-four finish] is what the overall objective was at the beginning of the season and that is what the objective will be until the end of the season.
"We know there will be a lot of competition, there always will be in the Premier League. We are fighting."