John Rowan (Walton) – If the crowd is anxious it’s because we know what’s coming
The international break has, for once, been a welcome distraction, such is Liverpool’s erratic form so far this season.
If nothing else, England’s games have reminded us of how average a footballer Raheem Sterling is and that regardless of the result, Klopp’s sides keep us on the edge of our seats. Give me heavy metal football any day rather than the dirge that England fans zone out to.
Just when it looked like Liverpool had got off lightly over the international break, we receive the news that Sadio Mane is likely to be out for around six weeks. This could be the chance for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to make a mark after a quiet start to his Liverpool career.
Klopp has now been in post for two years and even his biggest supporter has to concede that progress hasn’t been what we hoped for.
The problems which he inherited are still there. If the crowd is anxious it’s because we know what’s coming. The edginess being transmitted to the players from the crowd isn’t based on impatience or unrealistic expectations – it’s based on experience. The defensive frailties should have been addressed by now and the failure to strengthen the defence in the summer has been his biggest shortcoming to date.
After Brendan Rodgers was sacked there was talk of Carlo Ancelotti coming to Anfield. Ancelotti, a fantastic man to have in charge, is available once again but I still firmly believe now as I did then, that Liverpool made the right decision in appointing Klopp.
We have a man at the helm who has clearly made mistakes but who remains the right man for the job, rather than a hired gun who will trawl Europe looking for one final big pay day before retirement.
Games against Manchester United are always massive, but very rarely has one so early in the season seemed to have so much riding on it. A defeat could send an already damaged Liverpool into a tailspin, while a win will put us right back in the mix.
ALEX WATT (Rainford) – It would be the perfect opportunity for the former Arsenal man to step up
It’s no wonder that Liverpool supporters hate international breaks.
As if we weren’t already irritated enough that LFC’s Premier League momentum completely stalled after the last time the players came back from international duty, we’ve now also got to contend with the news that Sadio Mané is out for six weeks with a hamstring injury he picked up playing for Senegal.
No big deal though, we’ve only got one of the biggest games of the season next and now we’ve got to do it without arguably our best player.
The fact that Man Utd are on such a consistent run at the moment is a huge concern heading into the derby. But as the old adage goes; form usually goes out of the window on big occasions like this.
Indeed, the history of the clashes between Liverpool and Manchester United tends to show that form means nothing when these two play each other.
We can only hope that the likes of Philippe Coutinho (fresh off making the Ballon d’Or shortlist alongside Mané) and Mo Salah (hot on the heels of firing Egypt into the World Cup) will be riding high and ready to do some damage at Anfield this weekend.
The absence of Mané may also give Oxlade-Chamberlain his first start for Liverpool and it would be the perfect opportunity for the former Arsenal man to step up and prove the doubters wrong after he’s failed to impress thus far for the Reds.
With the King Kenny Stand to officially be unveiled ahead of the match, it would be very nice to mark the occasion with a massive win.
And if we can put a dent in that supposed Man Utd title challenge, all the better.
Jay Riley (Litherland) – We have to let them worry about us rather than the other way around
Forget modern day big money owners, Liverpool v Manchester United will always be the biggest game in English football. The two most successful clubs, the two biggest clubs and the two most iconic clubs in this country. So it’s safe to say that there is always massive pride riding on these games when we both meet.
Man Utd have started the season well, dispatching sides that you would expect them to, they’ve not faced a top side yet this season though, but are about to do so on Saturday when they travel to Anfield.
This is when we will see if they truly do have the credentials to be serious title contenders and it’s our job to halt their momentum and build some confidence of our own, after a shocking September month for the Reds.
Liverpool need to start quick in this game, we all know how Mourinho likes to nullify the opposition in the big games, so the onus is on us to find a way of applying pressure and getting our noses in front. With the likes of Coutinho, Salah, and Firmino, its important they all show up and perform to a level we know they can do and hopefully it will be too much for Man Utd to contain.
We all know what our Achilles heel is, defensively we are really poor, both in terms of personnel and systematically, usually we need to score two or three to win a game.
Man Utd possess players who can hurt us with Lukaku, Rashford, Martial and the playmaker abilities of Mkhitaryan and Mata. But we have to let them worry about us rather than the other way around, we have to stamp our authority on the game and its important the crowd plays a part in that as well to make the atmosphere at Anfield like a cauldron.
Michael Atherton (Crosby) – We have only lost one league game this season, when we were down to 10 men
I am optimistic ahead of our meeting with Manchester United on Saturday and feel that we owe them a result. However, the news about the injury to Sadio Mane is extremely frustrating just as we aim to kick-start our season.
Whoever takes his place has big boots to fill as Mane as proved to be our match winner on many occasions in the past.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Daniel Sturridge are both seemingly off form and if Philippe Coutinho is pushed forward into a…