The last time Liverpool played against their old rivals Manchester United, back in October, it led to a goalless stalemate at Anfield. The Reds had the majority of the possession and the chances, but a combination of bad luck, poor finishing, and David de Gea denied the good guys of three points that day.
When the two teams meet again this Sunday at Old Trafford, pressure will be on Liverpool to perform. Manchester United are in excellent form, with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on fire in front of goal.
With the competition at their heels, including Manchester United, Liverpool need to win this game in order to maintain their place just behind Chelsea at the top of the table. A loss could see them fall as far as fifth place, depending on how other matches pan out.
James Milner, Liverpool’s trusty left-back, understands the pressure that the team is under. He believes that they have what it takes to beat Jose Mourinho’s men — but only if they play better than they did the last time the two teams met.
“That was the first game this year where we were maybe a bit slow in getting into our rhythm of how we want to play,” he said.
“That hasn’t happened too many times this year. Last year we struggled for that consistency but I think it’s been a big improvement this year - we’ve hit that level and played like we want to play in the majority of games.
“If we can continue doing what we’ve been doing over this recent period, we’ve got a good chance of taking all three points. We’ve proved we can beat anyone, home and away.
“The way we’re playing and the confidence in the squad, if we go there and play the way we can then I’m sure we can get the three points.”
Liverpool will be missing some key components in their best XI — chief among them, leading goalscorer Sadio Mané — so the other players will need to step up and put in a better performance than they showed against Southampton mid-week if they have expect to come away winners.