Ahead of his side’s trip to Anfield, Manchester United’s manager, Jose Mourinho, expects a difficult game when they battle Liverpool on Saturday. Mourinho believes the Reds won’t be an easy opponent given their antecedents in big games, but that the aim will be to win.
“We want to win but we play against a team that wants the same,” Mourinho told MUTV. “They play at home, they’re very strong in matches against top teams and we know it won’t be easy. We must forget, like we always do, about the injured players who are not available for the match. We focus on what we have and we go strong, with a strong mentality and strong desire to win”.
Anfield is known for the intense atmosphere created at the Kop end of the stadium, which can be quite intimidating for visitors. However, rather than be a cause for concern, the Red Devils’ boss says such atmospheres motivate his side. “It motivates us,” he said. “It’s something that we want, it’s something that if we could have in every match we would have.
United currently sit second, same points as leaders Man City, but there are talks that the Red Devils have had it easy so far, and that tomorrow’s game represent their sternest test yet. Mourinho says while he has no problems with such opinions, it is rather unfair for teams his side have faced so far. “For us it’s not a problem, but it’s not nice for the opponents. Everybody knows there are better teams than others. At the end of the season we have proof of that when you have the champion, runner up, third and fourth. I don’t think teams that aren’t going to be champions or top four mind that everyone says that. But to say they’re easy matches to win, I think is a bit aggressive to them.”
In the same fixture last season, United held Liverpool to a goalless, and when asked how his side would likely set up this time around, the Portuguese manager had a funny answer. “I will play with one defender and one striker, don’t worry about it,” he added, jokingly. “We play with one guy behind and then we go with the new system, even an evolution of the WM [old style formation], and we play with nine strikers. Don’t worry about it.”
United travel to Anfield on Saturday to take on Liverpool in an early kickoff in the Premier League.