Gary Neville has backed Manchester United to beat Liverpool on Saturday afternoon, but believes the side’s future in the UEFA Champions League will affect the game.
The former-Man United captain is a famous figure in the North-West derby, having often been the centre of controversy, including most notably when he ran down the length of the pitch to celebrate passionately in front of Liverpool’s away supporters at Old Trafford.
It’s a vital game in the race for second in the Premier League, though both sides will be disappointed, particularly United though, that they are competing to be the first team to finish behind rivals Manchester City, rather than competing directly with the Blues for the title.
“I always fancy United at home,” Neville told Sky Sports.
Liverpool go into Saturday’s fixture off the back of securing their place in the Champions League quarter-finals with a 0-0 draw against FC Porto, having battered the Swiss side in the first leg. That initial win allowed them to rest key players.
In contrast, United will need to be ready to beat La Liga club Sevilla at Old Trafford just four days after the Liverpool clash, and having drawn 0-0 away from home, need a win on Wednesday.
That means manager Jose Mourinho must have the game in mind, in terms of resting individuals and being ready.
“Jose Mourinho has two big games in four days that will define the rest of the season – against Liverpool and Sevilla,” Neville continued.
“How strong he goes in both remains to be seen.”