By Dominic Toner

Joel Matip has revealed that Liverpool have been working on defending crosses this week in training.

The Reds host great rivals Manchester United on Monday in a highly anticipated Premier League encounter.

The centre-back pairing of Matip and Dejan Lovren are both big physical presences, but they have been training on their aerial ability ahead of the United clash.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the most deadly forwards in Europe and has already demonstrated his power in the air since his move to Old Trafford in the summer.

Matip, 25, has explained that they are aware of the United’s aerial threat and it has been a focus during training.

“We have to defend against this and we have lots of practices,” Matip said, as quoted by the Echo. “This week we practised against crosses and high balls.

“If the ball comes in my area I have to give everything to try and clear it.”

United also have the threat of Marouane Fellaini if he is selected by Jose Mourinho and they are a real danger from set-pieces.

Liverpool have made a great start to the season, but have already shown defensive frailties.

The Merseyside club have conceded 10 goals in their first seven league game and will be hopeful of improving that record.

The game against Untied will provide a real test of Liverpool’s early tag as title contenders.

In other Liverpool team news, a Sky Sports pundit has identified who should be the club’s number one goalkeeper.