No Red Carpet for Liverpool at Old Trafford
The two most successful clubs in English football-Manchester United and Liverpool will this weekend renew hostilities in an encounter that headlines the Premier League
While Liverpool had been struggling of late, their Sunday host, Manchester United had been on a winning streak in all competitions.
Little wonder, former Anfield midfielder, Didi Hamann is of the opinion that Liverpool will struggle to handle a resurgent United on Sunday.
The Red Devils look to be back in the title chace after a run of six league wins on the bounce moved them 10 points behind leaders, Chelsea.
The Red Devils currently trail second-place Liverpool by four points but could cut the gap on their fierce rivals to just one point with a win at Old Trafford this weekend. Hamann is confident Mourinho can continue United’s impressive form until the end of the season.
Liverpool are five points behind Chelsea but failed to beat relegation battlers, Sunderland and League Two outfit, Plymouth in the FA Cup.
The former Liverpool star said: “Once Jose Mourinho’s team start rolling, they’re like a juggernaut – they can be incredibly hard to stop. United are unbeaten in 11 league games now – when he was at Chelsea Jose went on an unbeaten league run of 40 games and it wasn’t a one-off.
“Chelsea had six unbeaten stretches that went over 12 games in the league under Mourinho’s watch. Manchester United haven’t been too successful in recent years but there is huge belief in the camp.
“They are a serious force, and there’s no reason why this momentum would stop between now and May. United still have a massive role to play in the title race.
“Ten points is a lot of ground to make up on Chelsea, but in the third week of December they were nine points off fourth place. Now they’re only three points away from Man City in fourth, and can close the gap to Liverpool to two if they win on Sunday. It isn’t impossible.”
Meanwhile, Mourinho has said he, his players and even the club’s supporters would need to raise their game when arch rivals Liverpool visit Old Trafford this weekend.
United beat Hull City 2-0 in Tuesday’s League Cup semifinal first leg to make it nine games in succession, while Liverpool suffered a one nil loss to Southampton on Wednesday. However, with the Reds five points above the Devils in second place in the table, Mourinho wants everyone to be at their very best on Sunday.
“I think now about Sunday. I need to do better on Sunday, the players need to do better and the stadium they need to do better,” Mourinho said.
Meanwhile, West Bromwich Albion skipper, Darren Fletcher is hoping his side can extend their unbeaten run against Tottenham Hotspur when they travel to White Hart Lane in the Premier League today.
West Brom, who are eighth in the league, have managed to avoid defeat in their last three encounters with the North London club, including a 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns in October.
Spurs have not lost at home this season but 31-year-old Scotland international Fletcher is eyeing another positive result that could push West Brom up to seventh.
“We managed to get a point against them earlier on in the season,” Fletcher told West Brom’s official website.
“We know we are going to have to be on top of our game on Saturday, (today) but we have done well there in the past and hopefully we can get another positive result.”
Third-placed Spurs are on a run of six consecutive victories in all competitions, while West Brom have won their last two Premier League matches.