Liverpool fans "don’t want to see" rivals Everton relegated to Championship

Liverpool fans "don't want to see" rivals Everton get relegated to the Championship – according to Richard Keys.

Everton dropped into the bottom three following Burnley's win over Wolves on Sunday, before the Toffees' trip to Anfield for the Merseyside derby. Frank Lampard's side are at risk of a first relegation from the top flight since 1951, having last played second tier football in 1954.

However, former Sky Sports presenter Keys has claimed that Liverpool fans will not want to see their bitter rivals drop out of the Premier League at the end of the campaign and play Championship football next season.

Speaking during beIN SPORTS' coverage of the Merseyside derby, Keys explained: "I'll say this again, I don't think even the most ardent Red wants to see Everton in the Championship.

"I might be wrong, Evertonians will probably be saying that 'you're patronising us' but I'm not. It's the game of the season for both sides of Merseyside isn't it? Why would you not want to play it?"

Pundits Andy Gray and Nigel de Jong both agreed with Keys, although Gray admitted that there will still be a "small selection" of Liverpool fans who would wallow in Everton's misery if they were relegated.

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Everton dropped into the bottom three for the first time this season after Burnley beat Wolves 1-0 earlier on Sunday but will move back above the Clarets if they can win at Anfield.

Relegation would end Everton's status as one of just six clubs to have featured in every Premier League season, a record they share with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

The Toffees have consistently struggled to win matches during the season, winning just four times since the end of September, when they found themselves fifth after seven matches.

That form has seen little improvement since Lampard's appointment at the end of January, with just three wins in his 11 league matches at the helm.

However, Everton headed to Anfield unbeaten in their last two matches, which included a crucial 1-0 win at home to United earlier this month.

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