Momo ready for backlash
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Mohamed Sissoko is ready to face the wrath of Everton fans after turning down a move to Goodison Park in favour of Liverpool.
The Mali international midfielder looked to be joining David Moyes' men until Rafa Benitez stepped in to bring him to Anfield.
Benitez signed Sissoko for Valencia and was keen to add him to his UEFA Champions League-winning squad.
20-year-old Sissoko knows that his decision to turn down The Toffees will see him get a hot reception on his first trip to Goodison.
"I understand that the Everton fans are angry but I am going to be happier at Liverpool," said Sissoko.
"I'm sure they will give me a hard time in the derby match.
"But I am used to playing in situations much worse - for example when playing for Mali. We have reached the point in Africa where there is a risk of death in some matches."
Sissoko says that the fact that his former coach Benitez is at the helm at Liverpool helped sway his decision.
"I appreciated the Everton offer, they talked to Valencia and then to me but I was not convinced about everything.
"And when Rafa Benitez appeared, it made my mind up. I could never turn this offer down. If Rafa was not Liverpool boss it might have been different.
"He knows me well and that counts for a lot. I will give 200 percent to carry out his orders on the pitch."
Sissoko believes that the squad Benitez is building will be good enough to challenge for honours again this season.
"With the squad we now have we can go for everything and the news that Gerrard is staying is fantastic - he is one of the best in the world in his position."
Meanwhile, reports in France are suggesting that Benitez may be ready to move for Lyon captain Sidney Govou, should he fail with his efforts to land Real Madrid star Luis Figo.
Lyon are prepared to let the French international move on from Stade Gerland this summer, but it remains to be seen if Benitez puts the 25-year-old at the top of his priority list of targets.
Title: Chelsea 4/5 Arsenal 11/4 Man Utd 10/3 Liverpool 16/1 Everton 150/1 - Click here for full odds with Sky Bet