Jurgen Klopp stressed how big the fixture Liverpool vs Manchester United is on the calendar ahead of welcoming the Red Devils to Anfield on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp expects a stiff challenge from United

Klopp expects the form book to be thrown out of the window.

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In his programme notes, Klopp wrote as per LiverpoolFC.com: “Welcome to Anfield for our Premier League fixture against Manchester United, a respected rival and an opponent who we always look forward to playing because of what this game means in the cities we represent and far beyond their boundaries.

“I would like to offer an especially warm welcome to Erik ten Hag, his staff and the United players and supporters. Although today is a day for wanting to out-do one another, it is important that we do so in the right way and this way starts and finishes with respect. Nothing else makes sense.

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“Our history, our location and our success mean that we cannot be anything other than rivals, of course. This ‘relationship’ has been created over decades of being prominent in the English game and this makes me very proud to be part of it. Again, though, the pride I have at being part of Liverpool’s story does not mean I cannot see why those from the other end of the motorway have very similar feelings about their club.

“It also means I know what to expect today and that is a proper, proper test. I could not care less about last season’s result in this fixture. That gives us no advantage whatsoever today and, if anything, it adds to United’s incentive.”

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Jurgen Klopp acknowledges Liverpool’s expectations

Klopp understands that expectations of his Liverpool side are high as they head into the match on top of the table.

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He added: “If the rules of football allowed goals from one game to be carried on to the next I might think differently but they do not of course, which means I don’t need to remind anybody that today’s game starts at 0-0 and with both teams being equal until they prove otherwise.

“Our job is to do everything we possibly can to be the team that provides this proof. I know it is nearly Christmas but United will not be here to give us any presents. Everything we get from this game will have to be earned the hard way. If anyone is expecting anything different I cannot help them.

“I am aware that United are not arriving in their very best moment but all this means is that they will see this game as an opportunity to create their best moment. We know this because this is one of the oldest stories of football.

“We also understand it because we have experience of similar situations where our results have not matched the expectations that people have of us.

“When this happens, a game against a rival can provide you with a chance to change the mood so we should be prepared to face a United team with top players that is ready to go.

“So we need to be as close to our best as we can be and this means everyone with a heart that is Liverpool-red pulling together and making Anfield the special place that we know it can be. I do not believe for one second that the supporters in the stadium today need to be told by me or anyone else that an incredible atmosphere would be helpful but at the same time I would like to look back to our last home game against Fulham.

“On that day, we went 3-2 down fairly late on and the situation did not look great. But then there was a period where the team and the crowd caught fire and everything changed. I wish I had the words in English to describe how it felt but I have not. This was Anfield at its best, a place where anything and everything becomes possible.

Biggest Anfield crowd in 50 years

Klopp is looking forward to the biggest Anfield crowd in 50 years when the two sides clash on Sunday with stand capacity increased by recently completed upgrade work.

The German concluded: “The feeling it gave me [the win over Fulham] was unbelievable so I can only imagine what it was like for our players on the pitch. I know it cannot be like this all of the time, but it did make me think of how special it could be if between us we could make it like this more often. Whether it is the crowd firing the players up or the players firing the crowd up does not matter. If we can create this chemistry together it would not do us any harm, I will say it like this.

“Today, with the new Anfield Road Stand close to being completely open we will have more of our supporters in this ground than at any time in the last 50 years. This gives us a wonderful opportunity so we should look to make the most of it in the same way that we always have done – by being together and trying to bring out the best in one another.”


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