Jurgen Klopp’s team could have been pushed into second place in the Premier League by the time they run out against the Toffees on Sunday, if Manchester City draw with or beat Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Reds returned to form with a sparkling 5-0 win against Watford on Wednesday night and lead the champions by a point ahead of the weekend’s fixtures as the season enters its final straight.
But Van Dijk says that, despite their electrifying form in front of goal, the team are ready to battle if necessary to make their way past their great rivals and keep ahead of City in the title stakes.
"I like it [the derby] to be fair," Van Dijk told Sky Sports. "It is always something which motivates you even more and it is a great game to play in.
"It's the derby and it's special but we want to show our quality, win the game - hopefully with good football but if not, we are going to fight for it.
"I didn't look at recent games from them but it will be a game full of passion. Obviously you don't want to lose that game - but you don't want to lose any game.
"For us the task is to play our game like we have been doing all season."
Van Dijk was on target twice as Liverpool romped past Watford at Anfield last time out, a rare brace for a player for whom goals have been scarce since joining the club in January 2018.
The defender said: "For myself, personally, to get two goals was great but I'm more satisfied with the clean sheet because if you are 2-0 up at the break sometimes you can get sloppy in the second half and I thought we were focused."
"Most of the time with set-pieces I'm always marked by the opponent's best header.
"It is something I am aware that I need to improve. I am working on it, trying to get better with it, and the only way to improve is to train and work."