After the international break, the #Premier League is back and the build up is truly underway for the busy winter period. All the teams will be looking for a good result this weekend to kick start this part of the season. However, a certain two teams will be looking for more than just a good result. #Liverpool and #Manchester United are probably the two most historic clubs in England, with 38 league titles between them. Despite Liverpool not winning the league since the Premier League era, and Manchester United dominant, the two teams head into Monday with contrasting fortunes. Manchester United seem to be struggling to adapt to life under José Mourinho whereas, Jürgen Klopp looks to be inspiring his troops to new heights. Will these fortunes continue, come 8pm on Monday?
Manchester United could revive their season with victory
The initial signs looked good for Manchester United fans. Four high quality signings, arguably the best manager in the world at the helm and “champion like” wins were all an indication that this season could be theirs. However, 3 consecutive defeats provided a tumultuous week for Mourinho’s men. Since that loss at Watford and apart from a thoroughly dominant display against the champions, their performances look to have no spark. Leaning towards the young Marcus Rashford to give the side chances has been José’s port of call. Everyone will agree that United need to improve if they are to have any chance of winning the Premier League title again. But, if they get a win at Anfield against their fiercest rivals, they could be a real threat. Regardless of the performance, victory could give them belief of landing the ultimate prize in May.
Another thrashing can make Liverpool favourites
Since Klopp came to Liverpool this time last year, there have been several statement victories in his tenure against other big teams. Manchester City twice, Chelsea, Arsenal and Leicester City have all been victim to the “gegenpressing” approach. Furthermore, their season so far has nothing short of brilliant. Except for the one aberration against Burnley, the team from Merseyside have swatted away almost all in their path. Even in the draw against Tottenham, Liverpool looked by far the dominant team and were unlucky not to get more than one point. The team look settled and seem to enjoy themselves playing under the charismatic German. If they can win comfortably again on Monday, against Manchester United nonetheless, surely everyone will have to recognise Liverpool as the team to beat.
Klopp vs Mourinho has been one sided so far
Throughout their careers, José and Jürgen have met four times. These meetings were all when they were managers of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund respectively. Again, there was a statement victory for Klopp’s men. In the first leg of the Champions League semi-final, Dortmund thrashed Real Madrid 4-1. The second leg simply did not have the energy and Borussia knew they were likely to be through. That second leg has been Mourinho’s only win against the German. Even in their one Premier League meeting, Liverpool beat Chelsea 3-1 in a torrid period for Mourinho. However, write great managers off at your peril. José has been far too successful all around the world to be overawed by the German. He will be incredibly motivated to change that record and re-establish himself as the best.
As the build up gets more intense for Monday night, both teams will hope for a game that can define their season ahead.