Manchester United have a new manager and a new approach but a derby match is a derby match and no matter how Liverpool’s next opponents approach the game or what kind of form they’re in, Gini Wijnaldum expects things to be difficult.
“Since the new manager came in there is a new flow,” Wijnaldum said of the changes at United since they sacked manager Jose Mourinho. “They played good games and have won a lot and that is building confidence in the team.
“It’s also a home game for them so they will have a lot of confidence as they don’t have the problems they had before. It is going to be a difficult game but I’m looking forward to it. I think for them we come at a good moment but we’re also doing well.”
With eight wins and a draw in the league since Ole Gunnar Solskjær took over, United are in a very good moment. But they aren’t perhaps as good as the record suggests—there has been good fortune in their run, defensive issues that can be exploited.
Their form will mean confidence, especially at home, but Liverpool will look at Sunday’s game as one where if they are to be league champions for the first time in the Premier League era they will still expect to take all three points from.
And with the match representing their game in hand in the race with Man City, they will need all three points to keep their place as favourites. Meanwhile, United will be desperate not just to hurt Liverpool’s title chances but to hold on to fourth.
Liverpool vs. Manchester United, then. Forget form and standing and all the rest, it’s always a big game. But Sunday’s could be bigger than most, which is something nobody would have expected when the sides last faced off.