Paul Merson has made his prediction for this weekend’s Premier League game at Anfield between arch-rivals Liverpool and Manchester United.
Man Utd got one over Liverpool when the sides met at Old Trafford at the start of this season.
Erik ten Hag’s side was coming off losses against Brighton and Brentford but they put in a much-improved showing to beat Liverpool 2-1.
The Red Devils have gone from strength to strength since then and they lifted the Carabao Cup last month. They are third in the Premier League and they remain in contention for the FA Cup and Europa League.
Liverpool meanwhile has struggled. They were dumped out of the Carabao Cup and FA Cup prematurely and they are likely to exit the Champions League in the last-16 stage.
They will be looking to earn a positive result against Man Utd on Sunday to boost their hopes of finishing in the Champions League places.
Jurgen Klopp’s team is currently sixth. They are six points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand. But Merson feels Man Utd will dampen Liverpool’s top-four hopes and win 2-1 at Anfield.
He thinks Liverpool will be playing “right into United’s hands” if the hosts “have a go” at their rivals.
“This is how quickly football changes. You’d be surprised if Manchester United got beaten here. How many times have we been able to say that about this game in the last few years? The way Manchester United are playing, they will take the game to Liverpool,” Merson told Sportskeeda.
“They are excellent on the counter and their players seem to make the right decisions whenever they break. United will want Liverpool to have a go at them so that they can hit them on the counter. Klopp’s side could play right into United’s hands on Sunday.
“Marcus Rashford will be looking to put Trent Alexander-Arnold under pressure much like Vinicius Junior did in the Champions League a couple of weeks ago. If United beat Liverpool, their confidence will be high and they will keep themselves in the title race for now.
“A win would be massive for Liverpool as they will get closer to the top four with that. A couple of successive wins could be huge for them.
“Erik ten Hag seems to know exactly how to handle his players. Tactically, he is very good. In the Carabao Cup final, his substitutions were spot on and he made the right decisions. He killed the game at the right time by making some really good defensive substitutions.
“It just shows you that a club just needs a good manager to maximize their potential.”