Sven Karic has good memories of facing Liverpool.
The Slovenian 19-year-old defender enjoyed one of his first wins with Derby County’s Under-23s against the Reds last season – a memorable 2-1 victory on Merseyside back in February 2017.
A big victory for sure, but that seemed to be the moment when the Rams’ Under-23s truly believed they could retain their Premier League 2 Division 1 status.
“That was one of the first wins we had when I joined Derby,” Karic recalled with RamsTV. “Mason Bennett scored a last-minute winner and there was a fantastic feeling in the dressing room after the game. I hope we can do this again on Sunday.”
Fast forward to the present day and Karic is enjoying life back in the Under-23s’ starting XI.
It’s been a year since he switched his home in Slovenia for a new life in Derby, so how has it gone?
“It’s been a fantastic year in Derby,” he said. “I really like it here, everyone is nice and I have found it easy to settle since moving over.
“It’s a very different game – very different from Slovenian game. It’s very fast, but I think I have adapted quite well to that.
“I still need to improve so that I can hit my top form, like I was when I came here.”
Karic has found starts hard to come by so far this season, but he has began the last two games.
Darren Wassall’s side fought back to claim a 3-3 draw with high-flying Swansea City, before emphatically sweeping aside Birmingham City 7-2 in the Premier League Cup.
Karic has impressed in those games too and he’s hoping he’s done enough to retain his position.
He said: “I was told to wait and keep working hard so that when the opportunity came, I was ready to take it. I’ve done that.
“I’ve improved physically and technically and now that I have taken my chance, I hope it lasts. It’s very good to be in the squad and playing again.
“Birmingham was a great performance. We had a slow start, but the way we took the game into our hands and came back to win was fantastic.
“We have had to wait a while for that win; it was a great feeling. It’s given everyone a lift and we have to take that into Sunday.”
Can Derby build on it and claim their first Premier League 2 Division 1 win since November – when they hit West Ham United for five at the London Stadium?
Karic answers simply: “That Birmingham win is massive. We know that they are first in the league, but we know that we can be as good as they are if we are at it. We have proven that already.”