Gary Neville's Monday Night Football prediction will not go down well with Man United fans
Published 15/10/2016 | 13:53
Gary Neville believes all the pressure is on Manchester United in Monday night’s eagerly anticipated Premier League game against Liverpool - and he fears the Reds could "blow United away" at Anfield.
Jose Mourinho's United side head into the Anfield clash three points behind their enduring rivals, with the visitors needing a positive result to keep pace with the early front-runners in the title race.
Now Old Trafford legend Neville has added to the expectations on Mourinho, as he suggested the game at Anfield could define United’s ambitions for months to come.
“It’s a big moment in the season for United,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“It feels like a bigger game for United than it does for Liverpool, which sounds like a cliché, but after a few difficult results like the derby against Manchester City, Watford away and Stoke at home, if you don’t get a result at Anfield then you start looking at that top four again.
“I tipped United to win the title a month or so ago, but to lose on Monday would be a big moment. If they were to go there and win I would still think they are in there with a chance of the title.
“Forget style on Monday. I don’t think any United fan, me included, are going there wanting United to go out there and think ‘let’s dominate possession today’.
“I want them to cope with the first 60 minutes and find a way of dealing with that. You’re going to Anfield and you’ve got to respect that fact.
“Going long is one way, but I don’t think any United fan on Monday night is expecting style or fashion.
“They are just expecting to get a result. This is a game where you just go and get a result.”
He went on to suggest Liverpool could have too much attacking firepower for United, as he expressed a fear that Jurgen Klopp’s side could overpower their rivals.
“It feels to me like a middleweight fighting a heavyweight,” said Neville.
“Liverpool are going to be quicker and sharper, but a lot depends on whether United can get through the first 60 minutes.
“I always think this Liverpool team can blow you away and it’s been like that for a few years now, since when they had Raheem Sterling, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
“If they can get through the first half and the first 15 minutes of the second half then United will win. If they don’t handle that first blitz I think they’ll have big problems.”
Neville suggested United should look to target Liverpool’s weakness defending set-pieces, but he is not confident his old club will record a win at Anfield.
"If you handed Jose a draw now - or any United fan - you would take it,” he added.
“That sounds really negative, but the way Liverpool are at the moment then it’s about not losing and taking your battles down the road somewhere else.”