Just one week remains until Jose Mourinho is set to face Liverpool for the first time as Manchester United boss.
The Premier League’s most-heated rivalry takes on a new narrative this time out, with Jurgen Klopp at the helm of The Kop for a year and Mourinho ready to take on the team he had the most success against whilst at Chelsea.
Klopp’s side have definitely had the more successful start to the season – notching up five wins from a possible seven and losing just once in the process. Jose’s start has been a little less straight-forward, with United three points behind their Merseyside rivals. (P7, W4, D1, L2)
As the biggest game of the season so far looms, mutual hatreds aside, we look at which United players could stroll right into the current Liverpool squad…
David de Gea: Goalkeeper
Let’s be honest, what Premier League side couldn’t De Gea stroll right into? United fans are still praying to that dodgy fax machine every night before bed.
The Spaniard has saved The Reds’ blushes in crucial games more times than you can count, including conjuring an unbelievable save in the FA Cup semi-final last season, denying Romelu Lukaku from the penalty spot.
Jurgen Klopp signed shot-stopper Loris Karius during the summer to provide some stability where Simon Mignolet so often fails, but neither keepers are a match for De Gea.
Luke Shaw: Left-back
When it comes to swift, creative, sexy attacking football – Liverpool look one of the best in the league at the moment. Their defence tells a different story, they are yet to keep a clean sheet in the league and have conceded the most goals of any top ten club.
The left-back position certainly leaves The Kop with a few question marks. Poor performances from first-choice Alberto Moreno saw him sidelined, with James Milner drafted in as a makeshift replacement.
Although 21-year-old Luke Shaw has suffered some injury setbacks, he has been widely regarded as one of England’s most promising left-backs. Before his double leg break cut his season short, many United fans felt he was their standout player and would far surpass Liverpool’s current options.
Eric Bailly: Centre-back
Another defensive player – Bailly has made quite the impression on Old Trafford since touching down in the summer. The Ivorian has proved to be a strong and composed addition to Jose’s squad. Oh, and he’s not afraid of smashing into opposition players, either.
Central defence has been a slight issue for Liverpool so far this season, with Klopp signing Joel Matip injured in preseason and Dejan Lovren, although much improved, looks far from the complete package.
As far as debut seasons go, Eric Bailly’s looks considerably more promising than Lovren’s did under Brendan Rodgers.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Striker
Ok, before I get a barrage of abuse and my doors kicked in by angry Liverpool fans, hear me out. As it currently stands, Liverpool look to have the best attacking side in the Premier League.
However, when you account for just league goals, James Milner is their top scorer. Currently playing in a left-back position, the penalty taker has tallied up four goals in six apps.
Whilst Sadio Mane has looked great on the wing and Philippe Coutinho impresses in central midfield, Daniel Sturridge is yet to score a league goal. Roberto Firmino has clearly stepped up to the plate, but just imagine him as a second striker – where he has played previously – behind the Swedish giant? Mouth-watering stuff.
Wouldn’t hurt The Kop to have a decent hardman in their midst, either…