John Gibbons: Reds need to stop with self-defeating prophecies, we’ll be fine against United

The Anfield Wrap writer looks ahead to the a ‘red’ letter day on Merseyside…


Liverpool v Manchester United. The two most successful sides in the country. The Anfield Mob vs The Salford Boys Club. Coats v Jackets. Wedges v Sideburns. Reds vs, er, reds.

It doesn’t get much bigger than this. On the pitch, or on the terraces.

The form side are the other end of the M62, unfortunately. Although suspicions round these parts are that they might find it a bit more difficult once they stop playing Crystal Palace at home every week and actually have to play someone decent. And no, Everton don’t count.

Liverpool have actually only lost once in the league this season, a thumping at the other club from Manchester after a Sadio Mané red card which we all said wasn’t a sending off at the time, but can now admit it probably was. It just feels like more than one.

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A number of frustrating draws that should have been wins have left Liverpool seven points behind both of our Mancunian friends and feeling like we are fighting for the top four, yet again, already.

So, a big game feels even bigger. Liverpool could do with a win. Jurgen Klopp could do with a victory too.

This week marked two years in charge for the German and recent frustrations led to discussions around the anniversary on whether Liverpool have really progressed under the managers reign. They have, I promise you.

They have gone from a club drifting without purpose under Rodgers to a club very much with one under Klopp.

We could just all do with the results backing that up.

Jurgen has looked a bit tired recently, possibly due to sleepless nights over wasteful finishing. You’d hope he has used the international break to refresh and to come back with new vigour. He’ll need it to help raise a crowd who were concerned before Sadio Mané got injured and now have severe anxiety after.

Nowhere does the sky fall in quite like Liverpool when a star player gets injured.

News of Mané’s injury for Senegal had Reds fans starting petitions to ban international football and doing everything they can to try and get the Brazil game called off so Coutinho and Firmino would have to fly home. Didn’t we buy Mohammed Salah so we were less reliant on Mané, anyway?

Never mind all that, forfeit the season and let’s all stay at home.

A quick look at the injury information website suggests that Manchester United currently have six injuries to Liverpool’s five.

And one of them is Adam Bogdan, who is currently 375th choice ‘keeper behind Jimmy Tarbuck and a Cream Egg.

United on the other hand have Paul Pogba, the man who cost more than our entire midfield, injured but apparently they are allowed to win games without their good players, but we can’t.

I do wish we’d just get on with it a bit more. This self-defeating prophecy every time something doesn’t go our way can’t be good for us and, besides, everyone just kicks everyone in these games anyway.

It’s more like a game of British bulldog than a game of football. With Ander Herrera as the snide kid who just snuck in without anyone noticing he’d kneed you in the balls. Or was that just my school.

Liverpool will be fine if they believe, play hard and remember they have lots of good players who are paid lots and lots of money to play for them.

Emre Can has just scored a worldie for Germany and will come back with confidence sky high, Mohammed Salah’s had such a good week they are knocking down the pyramids in Egypt to build statues of him instead and Phil Coutinho always has their lads running scared.

Just don’t concede any corners against Jose’s Giants, no one get sent off too early and it’s all to play for. I’d make us favourites. But, then again, I always do.

What, you expect me to back them lot? Never!

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