Richard Buxton: Toffees out to prove their toughness
Everton's Bernard expresses fearlessness ahead of trip to Anfield; Mignolet believes every Liverpool player is ready for derby
Fearlessness will make an overdue return for Everton on Monday morning's (Singapore time) Merseyside Derby.
Contrary to a tired cliche, form does not go out the window whenever the Blues take on Liverpool. Recent history has shown that a continuation of the status quo wins through.
A pessimistic mindset held back the Goodison Park club, with several of their former managers viewing trips to the English Premier League's top-four sides as a lost cause before a ball had even been kicked.
Under Marco Silva, however, that perception of the old order is beginning to soften, after his new side proved they could hold their own against he EPL's elite.
Earlier this month, they became to first team to hold Chelsea to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge this season.
They were also unfortunate to suffer narrow defeats at Old Trafford (2-1) and the Emirates (2-0).
But Anfield is a different prospect entirely.
Long-suffering Evertonians have come to dread their annual trip across Stanley Park, where the search for an away victory threatens to tick over into a second decade by the New Year.
A win by any other name has been equally hard to come by, with that run now extending beyond eight years, but winger Bernard refuses to be cowed by that ongoing poor record.
"First of all, we respect every opponent that we play, but we don't have any fear of any team or any game we play," he told The New Paper in an exclusive interview.
"We can improve on errors we've made in games, the small games, and we're dedicated to be ready for the game.
"Yes, we know it's been a long time since we won at Anfield.
"But we shouldn't let ourselves feel this pressure in the game. We need to continue working as we have been and take advantage of any chances we will get because there will be some chances."
Knowing the enemy remains a constant theme in Silva's current Goodison Park revolution, which has placed a greater emphasis on streamlining a squad bloated by poor recruitment last term.
Just five of the 18 players that last visited Anfield in January's FA Cup defeat retained their places in the Portuguese's previous line-up, with only two afforded starring roles.
Smart additions have helped, not least Andre Gomes, who heads up an impressive trio that arrived from Barcelona, while Bernard's own signing on a free transfer has ranked as one of the best pieces of business, only rivalled by his free-scoring compatriot Richarlison.
Liverpool remain firm favourites for the 232nd meeting with Everton in spite of a damaging 2-1 Champions League defeat at Paris Saint-Germain yesterday morning (Singapore time).
In the EPL, Juergen Klopp's side continue to ride high while redefining their own personal standard with only five goals conceded in 13 matches in a multiple record-breaking run.
"In the dressing room, the atmosphere is brilliant," Simon Mignolet told The New Paper.
"We've just had a new record set with 33 points. That, in itself, is a great achievement, but we've got so many games coming up that we can't really think about what's been this season.
"It's more about the games that are coming up now and the challenges that lie ahead of us.
"We've got a few big games coming up both in the Premier League and Champions League, where we have to make sure we get qualified for the next round.
"Then, after the game against Everton, we've got Man United not that far away from us. But just the amount of games played in this period of time means it's always an important period for the longer run in the EPL.
"We have to be ready, and in this busy period, the whole squad will be used as well and every player will need to be there, ready for when the gaffer needs them.
"Everybody's working hard to be ready to do the job when need be."