Liverpool FC vs Manchester United is a fixture both teams and their respective fans have circled every year. Historic, hotly contested, and not without its fair share of memorable moments, the Reds vs the Red Devils is a marquee match in every Premier League season.
The importance of this match has not escaped Liverpool gaffer Jurgen Klopp. At his press conference, Klopp framed the importance of this tilt.
I don’t think that the game needs any extra reasons to be a big game, it’s the biggest game I can imagine. First of all, I’m really looking forward to it but how it always is in these games, they are difficult as well. We need to be at 100 per cent, if not a few more, to get something there – but of course, that’s the plan. I think it’s a good moment to go there, but it’s still an unbelievably difficult moment because Man United have outstanding quality, we all know that, they have a home game, which we would say is an advantage for us if we played at Anfield so now they have that advantage and it’s our job to level that so nobody can see that. Very experienced team, very experienced manager, so it’s quite a job to do.
Klopp is clearly focused on the difficult task at hand: United - save the brief, comet-esque life of the David Moyes experience - has never been an easy fixture. Add to the mix that the squad is now helmed by Master of the Dark Arts
Professor Snape Jose Mourinho, and we’ve clearly got the makings of a typically hard-nosed, and gritty match.
That the clubs have seemingly oppositional philosophical approaches to the game doesn’t necessarily bother Klopp. His LFC being much more known for their high-flying and visibly attractive brand of football as opposed to the ahem more defensive-minded style of their friends down the M62.
I would never use that word [‘parking the bus’]. I have absolutely no problem with defending. I know how the situation is at the moment, that people are saying they play a specific kind of football, we play a specific kind of football and everybody makes a big thing of it, but it’s all about winning and there are different ways to win football games. But we have another history in the last few years. The big rivalry is since ages ago, I would say, but in the last few years obviously Man United were more successful than us, that’s the truth. We respect that, it doesn’t disturb the moment to be honest, but we respect that of course. This United has a specific way of playing football, that’s all.
All told, it appears that Klopp’s focus is entirely on what his charges will bring on Saturday. Respect for the opposition, etc, but the importance is on what LFC produces. And we agree. Bring on the derby.