Friday 13 January 2017

No caution this time as United and Liverpool lock horns again

United's approach at Anfield in October was to stifle the hosts with a stubborn defensive showing but that will not be the case in the return meeting.

Liverpool had gone into that match as the league's most free-scoring side but their tempo was blunted by a well-organised and disciplined United side. 

We mustered only one shot on target in a cagey affair of few chances.

Jose Mourinho will be fully aware of the threat posed by Jurgen Klopp's side but will almost certainly change his approach to focus on our own strengths and abilities rather than silencing a hostile atmosphere. 

They visitors have shown many times this term that they can hurt any team away from home and still have a lot of quality at their disposal. 

This time, however, Jose will be more confident in his own team's attacking capabilities and the team will be full of confidence having won nine in a row.
We look strong, powerful and our important, match-winning players have all hit form and are performing well. 

Both teams will go toe-to-toe with each other and the match will likely be the complete opposite of that defensive masterclass that we saw at Anfield. 
Jose will feel that United can hurt Liverpool and the visitors will not sit back under Klopp so neither manager will be 'parking the bus' this time around. 

In the aftermath of that dour draw, parallels were being drawn that compared Jose's United to the sterile and, arguably, boring side of Louis van Gaal.

A week later, we were thumped 4-0 by Chelsea but that defeat at Stamford Bridge was a turning point and the side are unbeaten since.

Jose decided to push Paul Pogba forward into a more advanced role in the victory over Swansea.
He also handed Michael Carrick a starting place to bolster the midfield three and Henrikh Mkhitaryan was unleashed at full throttle after his early problems.

Those changes released the handbrake and the transformation has been staggering.

The build-up play is exciting, the attacking play is cut-throat and we're playing the best football seen from a United side in years - more akin to the throwback days of yesteryear.

This is a good time to play Liverpool.

Klopp's team have hit a bit of a blip of late with Sadio Mane away at the African Cup, Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip injury doubts and Philippe Coutinho only just back from a six week lay-off.

Their confidence could be in question whereas United are playing as well as we have done for years and - on a run of nine successive wins - who would bet against us making that ten on Sunday....


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