Paul Ince believes that Manchester United winning at Anfield would signal an end to Liverpool’s title challenge this season.
Jose Mourinho’s men lead the pack alongside Manchester City at the top of the table with 19 points after claiming six wins from seven Premier League games.
A win at Anfield would take Man United ten points clear of Liverpool and eight points ahead of third placed Tottenham Hotspur, who host AFC Bournemouth later that day.
And Ince, speaking ahead of the game, insisted that defeat at home to United would constitute an end to any title hopes for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
“They’ve been demolishing teams and, no disrespect to the others, but this is a big step up,” he said. “To go to Anfield is different gravy, this is where they’ll truly be tested for the first time this season.”
“I know how important these games are to both sets of fans. I think United have to prove they really are title contenders, but I actually think Jurgen Klopp has more to prove than Jose Mourinho.
“If Liverpool lose, could you really class them as title contenders? At the minute, I can’t see it anyway.
“They’re way behind United and City and if they drop three more points here, they’re not going to make that gap up – no chance. It’s a huge game for Liverpool.”
Of course, dismissing a side’s title chances by mid-October is always dangerous. And yet, as United discovered last year, playing catch-up can be nightmarish. Almost like living in the matrix.
Liverpool only have 12 points from seven games and, more worryingly, are conceding almost an average of two goals a game. This is hardly the hallmark of potential champions. Put simply, Klopp hasn’t learned his lessons from last season.
But this doesn’t mean they aren’t a threat to United on Saturday. Liverpool aren’t capable of sustaining a nine-month battle at the top but have shown, time and time again, an aptitude for giving big teams bloody noses – especially at Anfield.