John Aldridge believes Liverpool’s chances of beating Manchester United in the Premier League will come down to whether the Reds can nullify Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba from the game.
Jose Mourinho saw his side register a 2-0 win over Hull City in the first leg of the English League Cup semi-final at home. The Merseyside club have also made it to the last four of the competition but lost 1-0 at St Mary’s Stadium against Southampton in the first leg tie.
Ibrahimovic has been United’s leading goal scorer in all competitions. The Swede is expected to be fit to face Liverpool after missing the tie against Hull due to illness. Pogba has started to showcase his worth following his world-record move from Juventus last summer.
Jurgen Klopp will take his men to Old Trafford on 15 January as the previous meeting between these two clubs ended in a goalless draw earlier in the season. Aldridge remains confident that Mourinho will avoid what he did at Anfield, suggesting the United manager will have a “strategy” for this fixture.
“Mourinho will have a strategy, he always has, and it’s about us matching them physically. You have to go there and battle them. They’re a big side with some strong boys in there, with Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic particularly tough. We have to nullify those two for starters,” Aldridge told the Liverpool Echo.
“Let’s see what Jose Mourinho does, too. A little bit like Plymouth and Southampton, he’ll have to set his side up to come out more than they did in the previous game. He can’t do what he did at Anfield, that’s for sure, and they have to show their home fans a little bit more.
“Then again, you can’t see them throwing everything at us because they’ll know how dangerous we are on the counter attack.”