Jason McAteer in action against United.

McAteer: United-Liverpool is world's biggest rivalry

Former Liverpool midfielder Jason McAteer is in no doubt as to the significance of matches between his old club and Manchester United, describing the clubs' rivalry as “the biggest in the world”.

United will take on our arch rivals from Merseyside for the 202nd time in all competitions when English football’s two most successful clubs face off again at Old Trafford on Sunday (kick-off 14:05 GMT).

McAteer played several times against United during his six-year spell at Liverpool, when he scored six goals in 139 appearances.

Speaking to United Review, the official matchday programme, the former Republic of Ireland international shared his memories of the United v Liverpool fixture from his playing days.

Jason McAteer in action against United.
United away was the first fixture that McAteer looked out for at the start of each season.

“The build-up to the Manchester United match began pretty much from the second the referee blew the final whistle in our previous game,” Jason said.

“It was a whole week of talking about nothing else but Manchester United, whereas maybe the build-up for any other game might get going on a Wednesday afternoon or Thursday.

“It’s the biggest fixture in English football and the biggest rivalry in the world for me. When I was a Liverpool player, it was always the fixture I looked for first at the start of every season, along with Everton.”

‘OLE HAS GIVEN THE WHOLE PLACE A LIFT’

United are unbeaten in 13 games under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a run which has included memorable victories over Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

And McAteer is under no illusions that his former club will face a stern challenge at the Theatre of Dreams.

“Since Ole has come in at United, he’s given the whole place a lift,” Jason told United Review. “He’s making the players happy, he’s playing them in their right position and letting them go out there and express themselves.

Jason McAteer in action.
McAteer in action for Liverpool against United at Old Trafford in 1996.

“We’ve definitely seen a vastly improved Manchester United over the past few months and Liverpool face a big challenge, without any doubt.”

You can read the full interview with Jason McAteer in United Review, which you can buy at Old Trafford or purchase online here.

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