David Moyes is relieved Steven Gerrard will not be lining up against his Everton side on Sunday - but expects Liverpool to feel the same about Tim Cahill.
Kenny Dalglish is unable to call upon the inspirational Gerrard due to suspension as he seeks his first win since being reappointed as Liverpool manager in the much-anticipated 215th Merseyside derby at Anfield. But Moyes is without his own talisman in Cahill, Everton's top scorer this season, due to the Australian's involvement in the Asian Cup.
Moyes said: "Of course I am pleased Gerrard isn't playing. Who wouldn't be? He is an outstanding player. I have always said if I could have got Steven Gerrard in the team, he would probably have been one of my first picks. I am delighted - but we'll also miss Tim Cahill."
He added: "Tim's nine goals - it's hard not to have someone like that in the Premier League."
Everton have so far fared well without Cahill, who is not expected to return until next month, having claimed a thrilling win over title contenders Tottenham and crushed Scunthorpe 5-1 in the FA Cup.
After winning just one of the 10 games prior to last week's back-to-back successes, Moyes now hopes his side are on the rise.
He said: "I think we have played much better.
"We played really well against Tottenham and we got a good result in the cup so we go there in good fettle.
"It is always hard enough at Anfield, it is hard for most clubs. Tim's a miss but someone else can come through.
"We stepped up against Tottenham without Tim and we scored five at Scunthorpe. Louis Saha's performances have been very good in the two games, Jermaine Beckford has had a chance to show what he can do."