Barnes is, of course, no stranger to this fixture. He was a key player during his days playing with, and eventually under, Kenny Dalglish. And as a Kop Legend, he’s been one of the team’s most stalwart cheerleaders. So he’s biased, of course, but he also has plenty of experience and wisdom to offer.
With Liverpool coming off a difficult start to the season and needing a boost, Barnes thinks this Saturday will be a good day for the Reds.
“Why I think Liverpool will win this is because of what Liverpool have demonstrated against all of the top teams, apart from Manchester City when they went down to 10 men and lost 5-0. They have had the upper hand against all of the top teams because of the nature of the way those games are played. They are very open, they are very attack-minded. One team attacks and leaves the defence to defend for themselves.”
Barnes also pointed out that the way United will look to play this weekend offers some promising opportunities for Liverpool.
“If you go head to head with Liverpool rather than sitting in deep and defending in numbers to stop Mane, Salah, Firmino, you come a cropper and that is what has happened to Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham. If they go all-out attack against Liverpool, which they are under pressure do because they are Man United and they are top of the league, then I think Liverpool will win.”
Of course, Mane won’t be part of the equation on Saturday. But his larger point seems solid enough.
Let’s hope Barnesy is right.