David Moyes believes Everton deserve their billing as favourites for Sunday's Merseyside derby.
The Toffees are six points ahead of Liverpool in the Premier League table and will hope to preserve their unbeaten record at Goodison Park this season against their city rivals.
Everton finished ahead of their rivals last season but lost all three head to heads with the Reds, including the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
And Moyes, who only won four of 23 derbies since arriving at Everton, has challenged his players to prove they deserve their status as favourites.
The manager said: "I think we're much closer. I thought we went into the FA Cup semi-final maybe slight favourites because of our form.
"It didn't work out that way but I think over my time here we've been playing catch-up, which is right, we have to say that honestly.
"I think we possibly go into this game slightly ahead of Liverpool, but we need to show it, we need to prove it.
"We didn't do it in the game at Wembley so we have to try to do it in this one."