Cody Gakpo admits he only became aware of the true scale of Liverpool’s rivalry with Manchester United after last season’s 7-0 win at Anfield.
And the Reds forward, who scored twice in that famous win back in March, says United aren’t being underestimated inside the dressing room after an indifferent opening few months at Old Trafford.
Gakpo opened the scoring just before half time last season before adding a sumptuous second after the break as Jurgen Klopp’s side ran riot to inflict the heaviest ever defeat on United.
An embattled Erik ten Hag arrives on Merseyside having lost 11 games across all competitions this term, including seven in the Premier League, and the Red Devils followed last week’s 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth at home with another reverse at Old Trafford in midweek, against Bayern Munich, to confirm their exit from European football.
But despite their struggles, Gakpo and his team-mates aren’t taking anything for granted as the most watched club fixture in football comes into focus.
Meanwhile Graeme Souness has said that of Manchester United’s squad, only Bruno Fernandes makes it into Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team as he expects his former side to beat their rivals on Sunday.
The Reds are preparing to face a United team in a conundrum this weekend. Erik ten Hag has extensive injury troubles to juggle, as well as the absence of his captain through suspension.
This can only play into Liverpool’s hands, believes Souness, as he issues a confident message ahead of kick-off – just as he did nine months ago before the 7-0 win against the same opponent.
“It might not be 7-0 on Sunday, but I’m convinced once again that Liverpool will beat Manchester United. Why? Because they have the better players in every position,” he wrote in his Daily Mail column.