Jack Rodwell is expecting some stick from the Liverpool fans at Anfield on Sunday - but intends leaving with a smile on his face.
The fact Rodwell plied his trade for deadly rival Everton is unlikely to be forgotten by the Kopites, but for the Southport-raised youngster, it will merely add spice to the occasion.
“Every former Everton players gets a ‘warm’ reception from the Kop so I’m excited about going to Anfield as a City player and hopefully we can take all three points – a goal would be nice, too!” smiled Rodwell.
“When Liverpool came to Goodison Park last season, they made us look a bit ordinary and when we went to Anfield and did the same to them so they were always great games to play in with usually one mistake deciding the course of game.
“Liverpool are a strong side and we know it will be a tough 90 minutes – away at Anfield is as hard as they come - but our first game of the season was always going to be really hard and we have got that out of the way now. We’ll be ready for Sunday, make no mistake.”
Rodwell is determined to have a better 90 minutes against England skipper Steven Gerrard if the pair lock horns at Anfield. The previous occasion, Gerrard took home three points and the match ball!
“Yeah, I’ve been up against Gerrard once before and he scored a hat-trick, so we won’t talk about that too much. In fact, let’s leave that out!,” he laughed. “If I play on Sunday my aim will be to make sure he doesn’t score at all and we take the three points.
Rodwell is also hoping Andy Carroll is absent from the Liverpool starting line-up, but believes the England man will eventually prove his worth, whether that’s on Merseyside or elsewhere.
“Carroll’s a real handful and I know him quite well from various levels of playing for England,” said Rodwell.
“He’s a terrific target man but I’m not sure if he will fit into the style Brendan Rodgers wants to play. If he does get a chance and a run of games for Liverpool, there’s few better in the air or bigger presences in the box in my opinion.
“It will be interesting to see how Andy progresses this season and I think he could do really well given the opportunity – I just hope that’s not against us.”