Former Arsenal midfielder and current pundit for Sky Sports, Paul Merson, has stated that Liverpool are favourites for the clash against Manchester United. The Englishman wrote for his column at Sky and revealed that the Red Devils would not be able to “live” with the attacking talent Liverpool have.
Merson even backed the Reds to win the clash 3-1 even though United have won the last two meetings between the sides in the Premier League. The Reds did defeat them in the Europa League over two legs and Klopp will expect a similar performance on Monday.
The 48-year-old Merson, who won the old English first division twice with Arsenal, also stated that Jose Mourinho did not know his best team yet.
“I don’t think Man Utd will be able to live with Liverpool’s attacking players and if the hosts start quickly they will have too much at Anfield.”
Merson also believed that there was a huge gap in terms of quality between the United players and the other teams in the Premier League.
“This is a huge game for Man Utd, though, because I’m predicting Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham all to win, and the gap could grow quickly.
“All the top teams are capable of stringing six wins together so you don’t want to be playing catch-up this early.
“I’m not sure Jose Mourinho knows his best team yet and he needs to get that sorted. They played well for 20 minutes against Stoke, but for a large part of that game they didn’t look like scoring.”
With Liverpool playing a great brand of football based on relentless counterattacking and pressing, Manchester United could have trouble dealing with the Reds. The Manchester side also faced a lot of trouble in the first half against Manchester City and ultimately lost the game 2-1.
“Considering the way Liverpool press high, I think Man Utd will struggle to open the game up,” added the former Arsenal man.
Liverpool have had the tougher round of fixtures in the Premier League but have dispatched sides such as Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester. The only blip was the loss against Burnley but the Reds have shown they can deal with such results as they bounced back to defeat Swansea last week.
The Reds are just a couple of points behind Manchester City who are at the top of the table. Manchester United are placed sixth in the table and are a further three points behind Liverpool.
The Monday night fixture is set to be a real tactical battle between Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp and if Liverpool seriously feels as contenders for the Premier League title, this is another chance to show their abilities.
United have been struggling of late but they will always be up for a game against the Reds. And it would not be a surprise if Jose does pack his defence tight and tries to stifle Liverpool’s game to clinch a point.