- Last four games in all competitions between these teams have ended in a draw
- Mourinho has one just once in eight games v. Klopp
- Liverpool have won 25 points from their last 10 games
There is an overriding notion that Jose Mourinho will once again back up his bus and park it to stop Liverpool from prevailing on Saturday at Old Trafford (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) against Manchester United.
[ MORE: Mourinho hits out at critics ]
Yet, with both second-place United and third-place Liverpool way behind Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title (City are 16 points clear at the top of the table, in case you were wondering) perhaps the shackles will be off on Saturday.
Mohamed Salah and Romelu Lukaku are the main attacking stars in form but we know that Liverpool’s attacking intent will clash with the defensive and pragmatic approach of United. This will be a real clash of styles but the impetus will surely be on United to go for the win as the home team.
Ahead of the game Mourinho has been downplaying the rivalry, while Jurgen Klopp has called it “the biggest game he could imagine” as these giants of English soccer collide aiming to cement their top four hopes.
What they’re saying
Mourinho on the rivalry: “In my mentality, every match is the same. I have never looked to AC Milan as the biggest rival, I never looked at Atletico Madrid as the enemy. I never looked to Spurs or to Arsenal as a big rival. I’ve never been very good on it,” Mourinho said. “To me it is just a big match. Two historical clubs not just in England but in the world. I still don’t look to some matches as special opponents. It is just a big match because we are speaking about two big clubs.”
Klopp on Liverpool’s attacking approach: “I have no problem with defending. People say we play a specific style, they play a specific style. But it’s about winning and there are different ways to win. We have to defend with all we have. Not gambling and were are flying. Nobody flies. It’s not a battle of systems or philosophies, it’s a game between two very good teams. When we defend, I want all our players to defend. I don’t think there will be a lot of space in a lot of moments, how derbies are in general.”
Getting an early goal in this game will be pivotal and if Liverpool strike early, you get the sense that United will be sparked into action. I’m going for a 2-2 draw.