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Klopp Talk: Season Start Benefits Man United

Both Liverpool and United have dropped points to start the season — but does that put United in a stronger position?

Jürgen Klopp manager of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on August 18, 2022 in Kirkby, England.
Jürgen Klopp manager of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on August 18, 2022 in Kirkby, England.
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Many of us have suggested that Manchester United starting the season with two consecutive losses might turn the side into something like a wounded animal for Liverpool’s visit on Monday.

Manager Jürgen Klopp agrees.

Asked whether United’s worse start to the season makes Monday night’s game harder, Klopp answered in the affirmative:

Yeah, of course. I would prefer to play them after they won 5-0, definitely. That’s how it is. But it’s not dreamland, so we have to take it like it is.

We drew two games, so is it better to play us in a situation like this, or is it worse? I don’t know. It’s just the situation and in the end, there’s a start in the game but then 89 minutes are still to go, so you have to deal with all the situations in the game and in this moment obviously nobody knows exactly what will happen around the game, we don’t know.

I think the whole world will watch it, it’s Monday night anyway, everybody can watch it, and you will see how these two heavyweights deal with the situation. I would watch it, I will watch it.

Liverpool showed some improvement between the dire showing at Fulham, which ended in a draw that could have been a loss, and the more-promising-and-yet-still-grim opening home draw against Crystal Palace.

Despite the injury crisis at Liverpool, United’s form in the opening two matches will be enticing, particularly given the 9-0 aggregate thumping the Reds gave the Red Devils last season.

Klopp is measured in his reflections on these results as well, however, pointing out that this will only add to the opponents’ thirst to get something out of this meeting:

When we had the two results last year, I knew already in that moment it would not help for next year, that’s always like this. I couldn’t be less interested in the results from last year – they were different games, different situations. It just helps United, probably, a little bit to be even more motivated, if that’s possible, in the situation we are in. No, this is a completely different game obviously in a different situation but that’s it.

It remains to see how Manchester United manager’s Erik ten Hag’s plans will play out for his side, but Klopp respects his efforts to affect United’s playing style:

It’s obvious what he wants to do, he wants to build up from the back. We played them in the pre-season obviously. There, you could see and feel the high-press idea and these kind of things. We were, for sure, not ready for that game in the pre-season, not sure if the players arrived only three days before the game but that’s how it is. We made some mistakes but they used them really well.

The individual quality of United up front is ridiculous. [I] heard Martial can play probably, now trained again and can play. He played against us obviously a really good game, so another boy with technique and speed. Football quality in midfield, whoever lines up he will have [Christian] Eriksen, [Bruno] Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Fred... and [Scott] McTominay.

There’s real quality there and then it’s just about how we deal with that. But again, these one, two games they played in the league, I saw them both and now we have to try to figure out if he will change and what he will change. We go from there. If we have no idea then we just have to learn it in the game.

Both sides will hope to lodge their (very much-needed) first win of the season on Monday, with Liverpool perhaps being slightly the more desperate for three points.

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