By Amir Mir
Paul Merson believes Manchester United will not be able to “live” with Liverpool’s attacking players when both rivals meet at Anfield on Monday night.
Sky Sports pundit Merson has backed Jurgen Klopp’s men to win the bragging rights on the night and pick up a 3-1 victory against their bitter rivals.
United have won the previous for league fixtures against the Reds, but that was under the stewardship of Louis Van Gaal, who has since left the club and been replaced by Jose Mourinho.
Former Gunners playmaker Merson was critical of the Portuguese going into the highly anticipated fixture, as he predicted how the opening moments will pan out.
“I don’t think Man Utd will be able to live with Liverpool’s attacking players and if the hosts start quickly they will have too much at Anfield,” Merson wrote in his Sky Sports column.
“This is a huge game for Man Utd, though, because I’m predicting Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham all to win, and the gap could grow quickly.
“All the top teams are capable of stringing six wins together so you don’t want to be playing catch-up this early.
“I’m not sure Jose Mourinho knows his best team yet and he needs to get that sorted. They played well for 20 minutes against Stoke, but for a large part of that game they didn’t look like scoring.
“Considering the way Liverpool press high, I think Man Utd will struggle to open the game up.”
Klopp’s side have started the season in impressive fashion, as they sit fourth in the Premier League table, with 16 points from seven games.
This despite a tough opening round of fixtures against Arsenal, Tottenham, champions Leicester and Chelsea- all away trips, aside from the 4-1 home win against the Foxes.
By contrast United are sixth with 13 points, five points off leaders Manchester City, who defeated them 2-1 at Old Trafford in September.
In other Liverpool team news, a striker has been axed in the best possible starting XI to face United.