Man United Fans are beginning to believe again. Jerseys dusted off, pulled out from the back of the cupboard, worn with pride again.
You cannot fault their swagger, momentum is definitely with them.
The stakes are high come Sunday.
Liverpool need to win to keep in touching distance of Chelsea while United need to win to keep close to the chasing pack.
If Liverpool win, they open up an eight point gap on their fierce rivals.If the Devils win, they sit just two points behind Liverpool and they are well and truly back in the title race.
Mourinho will not be parking any buses this time around. He might’ve done so at Anfield, but he cannot afford to sit back playing in front of the highly critical/impatient Old Trafford faithful. This might suit Liverpool too as they tend to do better against teams that come out and play.
Both teams will have been involved the League Cup semifinal in the previous days and the results of those matches will not have real bearing on the weekend clash other than injury to key players if played.
Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to see his team rediscover the formula of flowing football enjoyed in the recent past. With the loss of Sadio Mane to the Africa Cup of nations and Phil Coutinho yet to have a run out in weeks, Liverpool fans have reason to be concerned.
Mourinho on the other hand finds his team in a reach vein of form with Zlatan Ibrahimovich now scoring and assisting on a regular basis. Juan Mata & Paul Pogba are at the heart of all offensive aspects of Jose’s game plan, while the defence has been hard to penetrate. Phil Jones is enjoying his longest injury free run in years and has surprisingly been a key factor in a resolute back line,David De Gea the Wall; Strong defence being the foundation of the Mourinho masterplan.
It goes without saying “Form goes out the window in the derby” will be uttered too many times in the buildup, but this cliché is usually an accurate description for these type of games; Mourinho and co will be foolish to go into this clash overly confident as Liverpool have been known to lift their game when it matters. Klopp has a knack of getting results away from home against the big teams away from home, and also against Man United in the recent past in the Europa Cup last season.
Another worrying factor is that Jose has seemingly renewed a partnership last upheld in the Alex Ferguson era. No, not AIG but the silent yet effective friendship with match officials. He hasn’t gotten sent to the stands for a few games now and a few recent dodgy offside goals seem to be the proof in the pudding.
Cynicism, jokes and ready made excuses aside, this promises to be an encounter that will live up to the hype as these heavyweights of the football world seek to land the Knockout blow to the dreams and ambitions of their rivals.
Klopp believes in developing players and squads instead of just rushing into flashing the cash. Mourinho has bought the best available and will continue to strengthen.
Will Klopp the Builder emerge victorious?Will Mourinho be beating the badge on his chest? Join us on the next episode of Dragon Ball Z.