Peter get`s the thoughts of United fan Thomas Muldowney
What are your initial thoughts ahead of this crucial game against Liverpool?
One of worry to be honest. Liverpool are playing excellent football at the moment and as we seen against City, are capable of putting the best teams aside. Jose set up with a defensive mind frame earlier in the season when United were in top form and Liverpool were struggling, so I don’t see him changing his approach here. In that game at Anfield, we had 37% possession and 1 shot on target against a team who in my opinion were up for beating. Now the tables have reversed. However, at home Jose is capable of getting a result against the big teams – Chelsea for example. I want us to attack. I want us to go at Liverpool. Liverpool’s defence is so poor that we can trade blow for blow and end up being 3-3 or 4-3 if they let it. But Jose won’t allow that. Defensive approach and he’ll hope for a counter attack opportunity. I expect to see another defensive masterclass from us on Saturday and hoping De Gea has one of those games.
Mourinho is under pressure to attack when his side meet Liverpool this weekend will he play an attacking line up in your opinion?
I’ve kind of answered that above, my mistake. But no, I don’t think he will. We will set up in banks and try and contain Liverpool. I fully expect us to offer possession to Liverpool again and try and counter attack. I expect to see big players starting to try and bully Liverpool in the air and attempt to score from a set piece. If United take the lead early, we will sit back. If Liverpool take the lead early, then and only then will he change it up, but by then it may be too late.
Can Utd handle Liverpool’s firepower?
I think if anything our defence has gotten better under Jose and we have the best keeper in the world. That being said, Liverpool’s front line are red hot. No team has really been able to keep you at bay when your full team starts so I don’t expect to see a clean sheet this Saturday.
Mourinho stifled Liverpool at Anfield earlier this season – so how do you think he will approach this game tactically?
Defensive minded – A ‘Don’t lose the game’ – approach. This will be the set up from the get go. If it’s anything different, I’ll eat my hat. I don’t mind Jose deploying this tactic sometimes when I feel we can’t beat a team – but Liverpool have weaknesses we could exploit if he trusted the team to go at them – but he won’t.
Sadio Mane has warned Manchester United that Liverpool believe they can beat any team in the world on current form. What are your thoughts on this?
Yeah, I agree with him. Let’s call it with an honest opinion Liverpool are on fire. When everything clicks for you – you could out score any team in European football. How would you sum up Utd so far this season? Slow progress. We are progressing – I don’t care how any media outlet or disgruntled pundit/journo tries to spin it – we have improved on last season. Our league position has indicated this, we are in CL (still) and FA Cup. We will improve on last season’s league finish and we will sign big again this summer – no doubt about that. I would of liked a closer title challenge but this is not Jose’s fault – this is due to the sheer excellence and consistency City have shown all season.
Where do Utd need to finish in the table for you to be satisfied this season?
Top 3 for me. I know people will say title challenge – but we are in second place (just) and that’s as close as you can get to 1st place – so that for me is a challenge. Again, City have blown everyone else away this season so we can’t compare to them and say it’s not a title challenge. We are as close as we possibly can be to 1st place. I’d take a top 3 finish, semi’s in the CL and an FA Cup. If I was Jose, I’d be putting everything into the FA Cup.
Score prediction and why please?
3-0? Realistically, I’m going for 2-1 United with my heart and 1-1 with my head. The reasons above outline why 1-1 – defensive approach and try and counter or nick one via a set piece. 2-1 with my heart as maybe Jose surprises us and he lets them off the leash. We haven’t seen Sanchez do what he’s capable of and maybe this is the big game where he shows up finally. I give Liverpool a goal in every scenario I imagine as I don’t see us keeping your firepower at bay this Saturday.