Another North-West Derby is ahead of us. Liverpool will host Manchester United at their Anfield and the result of this match could tell us a lot about this season.
Manchester United have been almost perfect since the season started, winning six matches and making one draw away at Stoke (2-2). With 19 points out of possible 21, Man United are behind Manchester City on goal-difference and already have five points more than the third-placed Tottenham.
Liverpool on the other hand, had a good August but a torrid September. Because of that, the Merseyside team sits in seventh with 12 points. A home loss to the great rival would see them 10 points behind from the top of the table.
Derbies Can Give Hints For Manchester United
However, Liverpool will not be the same shaky side we have seen in September. This rivalry will probably bring the most out of them, making them a very dangerous side, rather than a shambolic defence ready to collapse. Jurgen Klopp’s side will try and use every blade of grass to show their speed in any spaces allowed. Still, Jose Mourinho and his players are an experienced side.
These derbies do not have to necessarily decide a title winner at the end of the season. However, they can show in which directions the teams are heading. Last season, Manchester United started well in August, but then lost pace in September. At the time of their first clash in mid-October, Man United needed that win to get back closer to top spots of table.
What Happened Last Season?
Yet, that did not happen. Mourinho made a very defensive setup at Anfield that time, making sure his team would win a point in an ultimately boring Monday night derby. It ended 0-0. Manchester United won a point, but lost a little bit of their winning mentality of the past teams. That would go on to hunt them in matches against the so called smaller sides.
By the time their rematch arrived at Old Trafford, the Red Devils were already out of the title race. It was mid-January and it was for some time now obvious Manchester United cannot win their 21st league title. Another draw, this time 1-1, was a little bit better for Liverpool, the side that will go on to finish fourth in the league. Mourinho’s time was losing the battle for the Champions League through the Premier League and thus concentrated on Europa League.
An Away Derby Win Can Resonate For A Long Time
But what have these two matches taught us about the last season? Manchester United can focus on not being beaten against big teams and then go on to collect wins against smaller sides. Last season that did not work, but this year that might be the case after all. This is Manchester United’s first big test in the league this season.
It will show what Man United’s aspirations are. If they fight it big for a win, it will show something we have been talking about recently – that this side has it all to win a championship. However, a drab draw like the one at Anfield last year would not be the end of the world. This team is now capable of scoring loads of goals. They will continue winning against the teams in lower part of the table.
Anyhow, this is a great chance to show all the power of Manchester United. A win away at Liverpool will be a huge message resonating in the weeks to come.