Simon Mignolet ready for Belgium connection in Liverpool's derby with Everton

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet admits he is looking forward to the Merseyside derby against Everton after the international break

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is relishing the prospect of facing his Belgium team-mates in the Merseyside derby.

The Reds welcome neighbours Everton to Anfield on April 1, live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 11.30am, and will be aiming to strengthen their bid for a Champions League spot.

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Mignolet is currently preparing for Belgium's World Cup Qualifier against Greece on Saturday, live on Sky Sports 2 from 7.30pm, but he admits the topic of next week's derby regularly crops up in conversation with compatriots and Everton duo Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas.

"Everton are playing very well at the moment, but it's very important for us to take the three points at Anfield," the 29-year-old told Sky Sports News HQ.

Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku speak with Ronald Koeman during a break in play
Image: Mignolet will come up against Belgium team-mates Romelu Lukaku (left) and Kevin Mirallas (centre) at Anfield

"I see Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas every day and it's really nice to talk about it. We (Liverpool) are all together. We're in a good place, and we have to keep that going until the end of the season."

As well as playing a major role in Liverpool's push for a top four finish, Mignolet has been taking time out to work for a charity that is close to his heart.

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He is an ambassador for research into Motor Neurone Disease, known as ALS in Belgium, and will be hosting a children's football coaching day and dinner in June to raise vital funds.

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Mignolet's uncle Erwin, once a footballer himself, now suffers from the debilitating disease.

"I know I am blessed to be a Premier League player, but I also know the other side of life. It helps me relate to criticism in a different way," he said.

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"Football is big and it's our job, but there are other important things in life too. Erwin used to play football.

"You see how things can change. It brings you down to earth. Keeps your feet on the ground."

The ability to keep things in perspective has also helped Mignolet this season.

Mignolet lost his place to Loris Karius during the early part of the campaign, but forced himself back into Jurgen Klopp's starting line-up in December and has not looked back since.

Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet before the EFL Cup Third Round tie against Derby County
Image: Mignolet has forced himself back into the Liverpool first-team after losing his place to Loris Karius earlier in the season

"I want to play every week", he said.

"When you're on the bench it's disappointing. That's normal. But I do my best in training and then it's down to performances on the pitch. But in the end individuals are not important, it's about the club."

To find out more about Simon Mignolet's work for the ALS charity, click HERE.

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