Jurgen Klopp wants his Liverpool side to be “angry” when they host long-time rivals Manchester United on Sunday.
The Reds can retake the Premier League lead with victory, but the German manager is aware that United will be looking for an immediate response to their midweek Champions League loss.
“From the other side it looks like it is not the best mood – United lost their last game,” he said.
“We have our own problems and our own targets and we go for them.”
He added: “We fight for our points. We have to be angry on Sunday and we will be.”
Liverpool have not lost to United at Anfield since 2013, although they have not beaten them in the past eight league meetings home and away.
There are currently 16 points separating the clubs, with United closer to the relegation zone than leaders Manchester City.
Klopp, however, focused on the historical significance of the fixture.
“It’s one of the games which you sign with your contract: try to do everything you have to win it,” said the German, whose side are the only unbeaten club in England’s top five divisions.
“It’s a big one, and if [former United boss] Sir Alex Ferguson says it’s the British ‘Clasico’ then I am really blessed because I was involved in the German Clasico [Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich]. It’s a cool game.”
Statistics do not favour Man Utd
United have struggled against their closest rivals since manager Jose Mourinho took charge at Old Trafford in 2016:
- They have faced Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal a combined total of 24 times in the league, but have won only eight matches.
- In total from those matches, they have collected 31 points from a possible 72.
- That is a worse head-to-head record than all the other sides in that mini-league except for Arsenal.
- United have had just 263 shots in the 24 previous meetings against City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal – 51 fewer than the Gunners, who are next on the list.
- Mourinho’s side have faced 102 more shots on their own goal than Liverpool have in the same group of fixtures.
Despite Liverpool’s current status as contenders for the title, Mourinho says he does not rate them above the side that won the Champions League in 2005.
“I played against a Liverpool that was European champion,” he told Sky Sports.
“I don’t know if it was better or not better; I know the other team was European champion and that this team won nothing. So I think I have to respect the ones that did it, and I have to respect the ambition of the ones that didn’t.”
He added: “They are a good team, the intensity they play at makes the game difficult, but we have to match that and try to improve it. But I think it is important to focus on us, and see how we can hurt them, and score some goals.”
Source BBC News