A fixture stuffed with world-class talents on either side, a battle rich in management giants, and a clash gravid with history, tradition and pride; it’s just a compendious description of what is arguably the most orgasmic footballing spectacle in England but fitting nonetheless, for Manchester United Vs Liverpool has forever been a proper game of football that’s driven by sheer will to get the better of each other.
You can almost sense that there will be emotional outbursts, at least one party lachrymose, maddening on-field bust-ups, touchline antics, teasing celebrations that have multiple purposes and much, much more that makes this match-up between two of the game’s giants as riveting as it is, and even more so when it’s Jose Mourinho Vs Jurgen Klopp.
The Red Devils are on a roll in the Premier League. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic leading the charge, United are beginning to at least look like a shadow of the side that most people expected them to be under Jose Mourinho, which gives you every reason to believe that they “can” beat Liverpool if they turn up.
The best part about United’s resurgence is that it hasn’t been about one single man but the overall squad. Everyone has been doing his bit, may it be Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan or anyone else – they’ve all been very good and should probably continue to be. One may go so far as to say that the game is theirs to lose.
Jose Mourinho: “If Liverpool is better than us, if they have more shots than us, if they are closer to winning the match than us, then a point is good. If we are the better team, if we have more chances, if we dominate the game, if we deserve to win but don’t, then a point is a bad result.”
De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Blind; Herrera, Carrick, Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Ibrahimovic
To say that Liverpool won’t be worried ahead of their trip to Old Trafford would be a bit of an optimistic comment rather than a realistic one. The Reds, even though they sit second on the Premier League table, aren’t in their best phase and will have to rediscover their form to be able to get the desired result.
The return of Phillipe Coutinho would definitely help the cause as the Brazilian returns from an injury, but it has to be a team effort against Mourinho’s side or they’ll pay the price because of the kind of form United are in. Having said that, Liverpool are by no means the underdogs going into the fixture on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp: “Nobody knows about the result. Everybody who wants a guarantee, don’t watch the game. Everybody wants to see a real fight for a result, then watch it. I am pretty sure it will [be that way] from Manchester United and I am 100 per cent [sure] from our side that will be the case, so that is interesting.”
Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner, Lallana, Can, Henderson, Coutinho, Mane, Firmino.