Manchester United have the chance to create yet another memorable scene from Erik ten Hag’s first season in charge of the club later this weekend when they make the trip to Anfield.
Liverpool will host the latest edition of this storied rivalry on Sunday and for the first time in many years, United are arguably favourites to win the game.
Ten Hag’s men are in stunning form and recently scored a well-deserved mid-season boost by winning the Carabao Cup – the club’s first piece of silverware since 2017.
Since beating Liverpool at Old Trafford in August last year, the Reds have been defeated just three times in the Premier League. The reverse fixture of this spectacle is widely seen as the catalyst for change at the club.
That game centred around organised protests against the club’s ownership and the mood at Old Trafford was reflected on the pitch. Speaking ahead of this week’s game, stand-in captain Bruno Fernandes has highlighted the importance of supporters and promised to give them ‘joy’.
“As I said, we know how important these kind of games are for our fanbase and as important as it is for them, it is for us in the same way, because we want to give them as much joy as we can, as much happiness as we can,” Fernandes is quoted as saying by the official Manchester United website.
“Happiness and joy is winning games, so winning at Anfield: we know what that will mean to our fanbase. We will do everything that we can to get the three points in that game.
Victory at Anfield would put United 13 points clear of their bitter rivals and from a supporters’ viewpoint, it’s difficult to explain just how sweet that would be considering last season’s dismal showing.
If there is one player in the United squad who simply gets what football rivalries mean to supporters, it’s Fernandes. Hopefully, an overdue double over Jurgen Klopp’s men will be completed this weekend.