The Premier league returns on Saturday lunchtime with one of the most eagerly awaited fixtures as Liverpool host Manchester United at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp celebrated two years in the job last week and would love nothing more than to get one over his biggest rivals if he is to ensure he can compete for the Premier League title.
Liverpool will be under pressure to get maximum points following their stuttering start to the season. They currently sit in seventh position in the league on twelve points and risk being ten behind joint-leaders Manchester United, should they lose this weekend.
Having already conceded twelve goals in the league compared to Manchester United’s two, Klopp will be eager to tighten up at the back with the news free-scoring Romelu Lukaku is fully fit and eager to continue his run having netted ten goals in his last eleven games.
Manchester United have tried to dampen talk that they are back to their best as to not get carried away with their blistering start to the campaign.
Critics point to the fact they have yet to play a top five side, but this will be put to bed this weekend.
Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, feels his team have nothing to prove as he spoke to Sky Sports (via the Independent).
“We have to prove nothing. We have our objectives for the season, we know where we want to go and how we have to go.
“This is press talk, or pundit talk: ‘We have something to prove, [Romelu] Lukaku has to score, we have to win’ [is what they say]. One match, one result, one performance. That’s not going to change anything.
“You can say, like some people do, we have not played one of the top five teams but last season we did not beat West Ham at home, last season we did not beat Everton at home or Southampton away.”
Jose Mourinho went to Anfield last year and parked the bus ensuring that his team would not lose. They didn’t getting a 0-0 draw in what was a poor game where the visitors only managed one shot on goal.
Mourinho no doubt would take a point at Anfield on Saturday with the bigger picture in mind. However Manchester United are in a better place this time round and are scoring the goals they found hard to come by last season.
They will fancy themselves against a Liverpool side missing star player Sadio Mane through injury and with a defence that struggles to play as a unit.
“I think we are a better team [than we were]. I think it would be unfair to say Lukaku and [Nemanja] Matic did not make an impact, we have to admit that and give them what they deserve. But also the team give Matic and Lukaku the conditions to arrive the way they have.”
Mourinho played down the importance of the fixture citing the fact it’s early in the campaign and a lot can happen in the title race throughout the season.
At the same time a win would silence some doubters while raising belief within the stands and the squad that Manchester united are indeed back.
“It’s for three points, not four. Maybe if we were in a moment of the season where it was a duel between two teams it would mean more, but it’s not the case.
“At the same time, in these kinds of matches, every single moment plays a part. We are playing against a good team with very good players.”
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena