Jurgen Klopp has warned his Liverpool squad about the threat Manchester United may provide ahead of Tuesday night’s Premier League meeting. Ralf Rangnick’s team travel to Anfield this evening aiming to build on their weekend victory over Norwich and maintain their narrow chances of finishing in the top four.
United were beaten 5-0 by Liverpool in their previous meeting in October, but Klopp insists his side cannot afford to be complacent against a club brimming with exceptional quality. Prior to the match, he warned of six essential players to keep an eye on, particularly midfielder Paul Pogba’s unique skill set.
“We are not up against a struggling team; we are up against Manchester United,” he explained. “And if I look at the line-up that could play, the goalie is world-class, the last line (defend) is absolutely superb, but (in midfield), I’m not convinced McTominay and Fred can play, and it may be Pogba and Matic.”
“If you let Pogba play – and he plays through you and behind you and all that – then you can choose between Sancho, Fernandes, Elanga, or Rashford up front, as well as a player who just scored his 60th hat-trick.” That is the scenario for which we must prepare, not what occurred last week or something like.”
United have struggled for consistency throughout the season, but Klopp is determined to avoid complacency in a match they have been rated favourites to win.
“If we allow United to do what they want, they will cause us massive problems,” he continued, “so we need to be in the right frame of mind, and the people need to be in the right frame of mind, like really, really ready to fight for three points – and not want to demonstrate we are in a better position than United.” Who cares about that?
“We’ve had a number of times better moments than other teams, and they’ve given us a hard time — but who cares about a better moment? They want the three points we require, and that is the attitude we must demonstrate.
“We have to be angry in a positive way and all these other things; greedy, just as you would be if you had won nothing, just as you would be if you had nil points, and these are the most critical three points in your life.” That is precisely the attitude we require for this game, as the quality is too high and the players are too talented to be in a bad mood.”