Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is fully prepared for another war of attrition against Manchester United at Anfield but hopes he has devised a plan to make the breakthrough.
The arch-rivals meet on Sunday with United looking to maintain their record of having not lost on the ground since 2013, although the fact their last two encounters have been goalless draws with Jose Mourinho’s side having 38 and 35 per cent possession respectively says much about the type of games they were.
Should this game fail to produce a winner it will be the first time there has been three successive league draws between the pair at Anfield.
Mourinho’s side have seen little of the ball at Anfield recently (Andrew Matthews/PA)
The omens do not look good as Liverpool have failed to score in only seven of 60 home league games under Klopp and United have been responsible for three.
But Klopp does not subscribe to the notion that this United side, which went into the weekend 16 points adrift of their north-west neighbours, are in such poor form that they can be rolled over.
“I don’t know what other teams make of our situation but we never thought before a game, because we had a few good results at home in the past, it will be easier next game,” he said.
“That is not the mood you can win football games. It’s a typical situation.
Klopp is only thinking about his side (Peter Byrne/PA)
“It was not a joy for us to play against them having this quality on the other side and then having the ball constantly all the time and trying to have an idea to go around,” he said of his previous meetings with United at Anfield.
“The boys tried everything but it didn’t work out. We all have plan for the game, no problem with that. We have a few injuries but apart from that it is all positive.
“From the other side it looks like it is not the best mood, (United) lost the last Champions League game. You all prepare to make it easier for United in that situation but we have to be angry on Sunday and we will be.
“We fight for our points. We don’t solve problems for others, we have our own problems and our own targets and we go for them.”
Mourinho saw United lose in Valencia (Alberto Saiz/AP)
Liverpool have taken 30 points out of a possible 78 against United at home in the Premier League and have not managed a goal in any of the past three league meetings.
Home and away they have not beaten United in the last eight league meetings, drawing three and losing five, but Klopp is still relishing the prospect of going head-to-head with their historical rivals.
“It’s one of the games which you sign with your contract: try to do everything you have to win it,” added Klopp, whose side are the only unbeaten club in England’s top five divisions.
“Historically-wise it’s a big one, and if Alex Ferguson says it’s the British Clasico then I am really blessed because I was involved in the German Clasico (Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich). It’s a cool game.
“It’s a big in Germany and years ago when I heard about that game, I tried everything to watch it. That’s the truth. Very often it was very intense, and now I am here for a few years, it was always tight.
Such matches are often feisty affairs (Peter Byrne/PA)
“In the league we had too many bad results to be honest. I don’t think we always got the right result, last year they had a very good start in the home game against us but then we more or less took over and couldn’t get the game back.
“The year before I don’t even remember but I don’t think we won! We try to change that, at least, but it will be a very intense game. We need to be ready for that.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I hope the people are ready again to create an atmosphere like Tuesday night (in their Champions League victory over Napoli), which was special.”