Come Saturday, we could all expect an enthralling battle at Old Trafford as Manchester United lock horns with arch-rivals Liverpool in the Premier League. The two teams drew 0-0 earlier this season with Romelu Lukaku missing a clear-cut opportunity at Anfield.
Defender Dejan Lovren claims he has no animosity with Lukaku as he prepares for another battle at Old Trafford.
The Croatian accused the United striker of deliberately kicking him in the face last year at Anfield. However, Lukaku escaped with a punishment but Lovren says he has no bitterness about that incident.
“No, it’s over, this is another game,” Lovren told Liverpool Echo.
“He is a top striker. We can say what we want, he scores many goals.
“Maybe United are not in the best shape but still they win ugly. What matters is the points. It will be a tough challenge, definitely.”
Lovren, whose performances have significantly improved since Virgil van Dijk joined the club in January, says he is relishing the prospect of facing Lukaku, who is United’s top-scorer this season with 22 goals.
“I enjoy playing against big top strikers,” the centre-back added.
“One of the biggest challenge for me is when you have Mo Salah and Sadio Mane at the training ground. Then you know where you are!
“Definitely, Lukaku is one of the best strikers in the Premier League. He has showed that many times. He’s quite challenging but if they don’t they have the ball.…”
Asked about facing second-placed United at Old Trafford, Lovren explained:
“It will be a tough challenge definitely. Last time, when they came here, they defend really deep so let’s see what happens now.”
Jose Mourinho had set up his team in an ultra-defensive mode and eked out a draw at Anfield. Lovren feels Mourinho would organise his team in a similar manner when the two sides meet on Saturday.
“I think so,” he added. “They need the points, definitely. For them it will be maybe a point good but for us, we never play for a point. We are there; we will give our best. We will play like we play every day, attacking football. Let’s enjoy it.
“You know, Mourinho has his own plans. Whatever he wants to do, it is not our job to know. It is our job to focus on ourselves and play how we hope will beat them. We didn’t do the best game in our season (against Porto) but we can concentrate for the next game, the big game against United.”
I think the onus is on Jurgen Klopp to utilise his attackers cleverly as United will simply defend deep and play on the counter-attack.