‘If Liverpool don’t…’ – Former Reds player has one ‘big concern’ for Klopp’s side v Man Utd

Posted by

Danny Murphy has warned Liverpool that they cannot afford to concede the first goal against Manchester United this afternoon.

The Reds welcome their biggest rivals to Anfield off the back of four consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League, with three wins and a draw in that period, but today they face in-form opponents who’ve only lost once since December.

Despite that word of warning from the 45-year-old – who had a happy habit of scoring decisive goals against the Red Devils (BBC Sport) – he doesn’t see his former club being beaten in this clash.

Murphy told Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE (via HITC): “I think Liverpool will come out 100 miles per hour. They have to they have to try and unsettle this Man United side. A bit like they did in the Madrid game, the problem is in the Madrid game that they couldn’t maintain it and got picked apart.

“You have to unsettle this side and not make them comfortable, they have too many players who have been there, done it and got the T-shirt, Varane, Martinez, Shaw, Casemiro. They won’t be fazed by going to Anfield.

“My big concern for Liverpool is if they lose the first goal because I’ve seen great game management from United recently. I’m talking about sitting in, defending their box, not being obsessed with possession. I worry if Liverpool don’t get the first goal. I’d be amazed if Klopp didn’t do his normal thing and try to get the crowd right behind them and get at United.”

When asked for his prediction, Murphy replied: “I think United will get a draw, they won’t win. I think it’ll be a draw and if not a draw Liverpool will edge it. I don’t think United will win because in their big away games this season they haven’t turned up.”

READ MORE: ‘Indispensable’ Man Utd star to undergo last-minute fitness test ahead of Liverpool visit in injury blow

READ MORE: Five-man Manchester United injury update ahead of Anfield clash in the Premier League

The former Liverpool midfielder is right to pinpoint the danger of allowing United to score first and manage the game effectively, particularly bearing in mind the reverse fixture earlier this season.

On that night at Old Trafford, Erik ten Hag’s side opened the scoring and won 2-1, despite having four fewer shots than the Merseysiders and ceding 71% of possession to Jurgen Klopp’s men (BBC Sport).

The Real Madrid defeat cited by Murphy should also have yielded lessons for the Reds in terms of their own game management, as a repeat of that collapse here would be unbearable to comprehend.

However, as the 45-year-old also pointed out, United haven’t won away this season to any team currently in the top six of the Premier League (Transfermarkt), and Liverpool’s record in this particular fixture in recent years makes for encouraging reading from the home side’s perspective.

The first 15-20 minutes in particular today could be massively intriguing…

You can check out the clip of Murphy’s pre-match thoughts below (at 18:32, via Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE on YouTube):

#Ep73 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: Author chat with Chris Roberts on Football, Mental Health… and more!

More Stories Danny Murphy Liverpool Manchester United