The Red Devils of Manchester United will take on their eternal rivals the Reds; Liverpool on Saturday 10th March in an epic encounter in the Week 30 fixture of the English Premier League.
Kick off is 12:30 PM GMT
Manchester United are just two points ahead of Liverpool as the Red Devils lie second with the Reds positioned at third. Manchester have 62 points whereas Liverpool have 60 points. United have scored 56 goals and conceded 22 whereas Liverpool have scored 67 goals and conceded 32. The first leg ended 0-0 at Anfield.
The case of the two managers United’s Jose Mourihno and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp can be compared to the tale of two cities; Liverpool having secured their Quarter Final berth in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League after eliminating FC Porto though they drew at home in the second leg. Meanwhile Jose Mourihno would have on eye on Sevilla CF as they play their second leg of the Knockout phase (1/16th) on Tuesday Night at the Old Trafford.
As a result, Liverpool Manager, Klopp would not hesitate to throw in all his arsenals for the clash at launch time on Saturday.
In his pre-match press conference, Jurgen Klopp explained that he would not be surprised to see his United Colleague pack the bus at the Old Trafford : ‘Did he say it first? He was not inventor of the phrase “parking the bus”. I would never use that term. I have absolutely no problem with defending. We play a specific kind of football. Everyone makes a big thing of it. But it is all about winning. We have another history in the last few years.
‘In the last few years, they have been more successful than us. They have a specific way of playing football. If we have to defend there, we have to defend there with all we have. Nobody flies against United. It’s not a battle of systems or philosophies. It’s two very good teams going against each other.
‘When Manchester United will attack, I hope all my players are involved in defending. If someone says that is parking the bus in that moment then we park the bus. I have no problem with that. Over 90 minutes, of course we want to bring our football on the pitch as well.
‘That’s difficult to cope with as well, to deal with. That’s the plan for this game. But I don’t think there will be a lot of space in a lot of moments. I think it will be a big fight as derbies are in general. Hopefully at the end with a positive result.’
He confirmed that full back Andy Roberston and captain Jordan Henderson would be available for the clash after the duo were declared fit by the team doctors. Georginio Wijnaldum also looks set to return as he was also sidelined due to illness
Mourinho confirmed that Marouane Fellaini is back in the squad after missing almost seven weeks following minor knee surgery.
He also paid tribute to the Belgian’s compatriot Romelu Lukaku who scored United’s equaliser against Palace and played in central defence to see out victory in the dying seconds.
Asked about Lukaku’s description of himself as ‘a sergeant’ on the pitch for his manager, Mourinho replied: ‘He’s an important guy for me. One of the guys that I trust. I love the character.
‘Against Crystal Palace, there was nothing that happened after our third goal, but I told him (to play) central defender. So he was playing central defender in a back-five with (Chris) Smalling and (Victor) Lindelof because I couldn’t make any more changes.
‘So when I say to the striker, ‘go there and do a job for me’ he is a sergeant. I always thought and told you many times, for me it’s not just about the goals he scores but what he brings to the team, and it’s that spirit.’