Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United can exploit shaky Liverpool defence, says Robson


By Simon Peach

Bryan Robson hopes Manchester United will take advantage of Liverpool's lax defending and secure a victory to remember.

Today's Premier League battle between the country's two most decorated clubs promises to be a fascinating duel as Jose Mourinho's men look to continue their fine start to the campaign.

While United enter the weekend level with leaders Manchester City, Liverpool sit seventh thanks to their inability to consistently translate performances into points and their porous backline.

Only West Ham and rock-bottom Crystal Palace have conceded more Premier League goals than Jurgen Klopp's men - a record United great Robson hopes will worsen today.

"I hope that all the United lads can take advantage of Liverpool not defending so well this season so far," he said.

"It's cost them points and hopefully it'll cost them some more points.

"You know, as a football player, you defend as a team and you attack as a team, so I think it's a collective responsibility for the Liverpool lads.

"It's not just the defence conceding too many goals, as a team they are conceding a lot of goals and hopefully they concede a lot tomorrow."

United look well placed to strike having already plundered 21 league goals this season, while Romelu Lukaku can become the first player to score eight goals in his first eight Premier League games for the club.

The striker and fellow summer signing Nemanja Matic have hit the ground running, meaning the Red Devils look set to make their first genuine title challenge since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.

The years in between have frustrated Robson but the former midfielder believes the future is bright under Mourinho.

"I think since he has come to the football club, he has done a terrific job," he said. "We were sliding, going backwards as a team.

"We weren't achieving things but since he has come in, his buys have been terrific and we won three trophies last year.

"The squad looks really strong again. He made a few great signings in the summer and they've really added to us, not just as a team but as a squad as well.

"We're looking all-round pretty strong, but these are the testing games.

"We go over the next few months, you've got Man City, we've got Liverpool and Tottenham.

"And we've got teams like this and it's how well we do against them this year as to where we're going to end up at the end of the season."

Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Klopp has laughed off suggestions it was his dream to take charge of United.

Klopp's former boss at Mainz, Eckhard Krautzun, this week claimed when he played under him the German's ambition had been to move to Old Trafford.

However, Klopp dismissed the idea that had things turned out differently he would be in the opposition dug-out today.

"I heard about an interview with my former manager," he said.

"I really like Eckhard Krautzun but when I think too far in the past I am not 100 per cent sure what is right or wrong but it is still funny. I am sure he thinks it was like this.

"How could I, as a very average player at Mainz, say to my manager, 'By the way, if I become a manager I would love to manage Manchester United'?

"Maybe people think I am a little bit crazy but I am not that crazy. I never thought about something like this.

"He (Eckhard) was a big admirer, and still is, of Sir Alex Ferguson. In our first meeting he was wearing a Manchester United jumper when he came in as a new coach. Maybe he forgot.

"There are a few funny stories, unfortunately a few things are not exact but still funny.

"I had fun when I read it but not all of it is exactly like this."

Liverpool vs Man United

Premier League:

Anfield, Today, 12.30pm

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