United Briefing: Matic ready to resume rivalry
Nemanja Matic is looking forward to the latest instalment of Manchester United’s rivalry with Liverpool as the two sides prepare to lock horns in the Premier League this evening.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are the visitors to Old Trafford with the rearranged fixture getting under way at 20:15 BST.
United will be looking to immediately get back to winning ways following defeat to Leicester City on Tuesday, as the Reds look to end the season on a high with a European final also on the horizon against Villarreal.
Matic, who captained the Reds in the game against the Foxes, previewed the latest chapter in our rivalry with the Merseyside club, underlining its importance to everyone involved on both sides.
“It’s the biggest derby in England, maybe also in the world, with some more games I’d say, like Barcelona and Real Madrid,” the midfielder told club media.
“I think it’s the most interesting game for people, and especially for our supporters and Liverpool supporters, it’s always interesting to watch.”
The Old Trafford clash will be the third time we have come up against Liverpool already this season following a goalless draw in the reverse fixture at Anfield before we were 3-2 winners in an FA Cup fourth-round meeting on home soil more recently.
With those two games being very different contests, the Serbian says it will be hard to call what happens this time around but knows that our visiting rivals will provide a stern test either way.
“It’s hard to predict,” he admitted.
“I don’t like to predict anything but I’m sure they will come with everything because they are not in a great position in the Premier League, so they will be very cautious.
“I don’t think they will be that open, I expect a tough game but it’s the Premier League, you cannot predict anything.”
When tonight’s game is all said and done, it will bring an end to a run of four games in the space of eight days for United featuring both domestic and European fixtures.
The Reds will then have a five-day gap to the next game against Fulham at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening, but Matic says the focus within the dressing room is firmly on being ready for tonight’s task.
“After [tonight’s match], we will have three or four days to rest,” he said.
“But first, we will do our best to recover [from Tuesday] and I’m sure that the team will be ready [to face Liverpool].
“Playing every second day is not easy and it's not usual - normally it's every three days - but we have to be ready and be fresh because, as you know, [Liverpool is] the most important game for our supporters.”
WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY?
Of course, all eyes are on Old Trafford as Liverpool come to town for the rearranged fixture. A reminder the game does not start until 20:15 BST.
We'll be running the manager's preview interview with Stewart Gardner and also hearing which stars Paddy Crerand believes are front-runners for the Player of the Year prize.
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
Casey Stoney announced she is stepping down from her role as head coach of United Women at the end of the season.
Ole provided us with the latest team news before the Liverpool game and we had an update from the Liverpool camp on their injury situation as well.
Our youngsters were pipped to the Under-18 Premier League North title by a single point when Manchester City secured a 1-0 win at Burnley in their final fixture of the campaign.