By Claire Bloomfield
LONDON (Reuters) – Manchester United host rivals Liverpool on Saturday with both sides battling for second place in the Premier League.
Here is what the fans have to say about their respective clubs:
Dan Riley, host of Manchester United Redcast – unitedredcast.com
“This is the game in the season that you look forward to the most and dread all at the same time. It’s also the one that you most want to win. Will you be feeling the ecstasy of victory or the agony of defeat?
“Apart from the fact that it’s a clash against our bitter rivals, a win is probably as important as a good performance. It is essential to maintain momentum going into the Champions League tie with Sevilla next week.
“I think the game will end in a 2-2 draw because both teams’ defences will be nervous and I can see mistakes happening.
“Manchester United fans obviously want to win in style but when it comes to this fixture we would take a shabby 1-0 with the ball going in off someone’s knee. It’s sometimes hard to predict how Jose Mourinho will respond, but we know Liverpool like to fly out of the blocks so I think it’s likely to be a cagey start to the game.
“When they’re in the mood Liverpool can open up anyone so they can certainly open up the likes of Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof. Most United fans are desperate for Eric Bailly to return to full fitness.
“Alexis Sanchez has obviously disappointed us since he arrived. He has kind of unbalanced the team because we had been playing very well with Anthony Martial on the left. Maybe this will be the moment that Sanchez announces himself as a United player. He needs a big game. He’s world class, so let’s see.”
Peter Philips, host of The Kop Table Podcast
“It always a game that makes fans that little bit more nervous than a regular fixture. In my opinion it’s the biggest game in the Premier League calendar and one that is looked forward to with great anticipation by both clubs. We are also both vying for second place so that adds a little bit of extra spice to the occasion.
“I am predicting that Liverpool will win 3-1 because the emphasis will be on Manchester United to attack given they’re playing at home. I don’t think the Old Trafford faithful will be happy if Jose Mourinho decides to park a double decker bus in this tie.
“I have a slight concern about Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, they are the danger men. However, Mourinho has a tendency to leave them out of his plans so hopefully he will do that again on Saturday.
“I believe the signing of Virgil van Dijk has been instrumental in improving Liverpool’s defence and we have looked more solid since his arrival.
“Obviously confidence is high in the Liverpool camp at the moment and some of the football we have played recently has been outstanding and a joy to watch.
“If Liverpool can continue this run of form then they can beat any team and I think that Juergen Klopp believes this as well. I expect Klopp to utilise the pace of the front three and to get the fullbacks high up the pitch and that’s sure to cause United problems all the way through this game.”
(Editing by Toby Davis)