Jurgen Klopp has praised Erik ten Hag for turning Manchester United into “a results machine” – but he’s confident Liverpool will rise to the challenge at Anfield on Sunday.
Liverpool find themselves 10 points behind their arch-rivals, who won the Carabao Cup at Wembley last weekend.
The balance has changed dramatically since Klopp’s side hammered a struggling United 5-0 and 4-0 in both encounters in 2021-22.
However, Liverpool have recently breathed new life into their top four by taking 10 points from the last 12 on offer and keeping four successive clean sheets in the league.
“There are so many things in life that are much more important than football, but for 95, 98 minutes or whatever on Sunday, football is the most important thing. I love it,” said Klopp.
“The whole world is going to watch it. Big game and I’m really looking forward to it. Every time we face them, it’s huge.
“The last few years we’ve done pretty well (against United). We know so far that they’re playing a much better season than us, but that’s irrelevant for this game.
“They won the League Cup final which is a wonderful feeling and then you realize you don’t have time to celebrate. They have become a result machine. They are still fully in the fight to win the league.
“A strong opponent, but we all know that in football anything is possible and we just have to make sure we’re 100 per cent ready and want it a bit more than the other guys.
“Let’s use our crowd in the right way. I would like to get everything we can out of this season. We must take the decisive steps. There are five million reasons why I want to win this.
Klopp admits how Liverpool handle United’s top scorer with 25 goals, Marcus Rashford, will be key on Sunday.
“It’s virtually impossible to be happy about something positive at Man United where you’re the manager of Liverpool,” he added.
“It’s not that I watch them and hope they win, but I’m really happy for Rashford. He’s had a really tough year, not performing to the level he’s capable of performing. I knew “That would change again. Now he’s playing unbelievably – his speed, his technique, his poise in front of goal, he’s scoring worlds, he’s scoring singles. He’s in the shape of his life.
“We have already played against world-class attacking players. We must defend collectively and he is not the only decisive player.
“(Bruno) Fernandes’ movements are so smart, Casemiro connects, that kind of stuff, whoever plays next to Casemiro will be a good footballer. The man-oriented way they defend makes it really physical.
“Obviously it’s not a team built for the next 20 years. The players they’ve signed are for now and that’s really good.
“They are a good team but they have to play us and I would like to show that it is different. We have an analysis meeting now and I will try to find a way to cause them more problems than when we played there.
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(Top photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)