Jurgen Klopp: "Man Utd are not overly happy with the results they've got so far but we all know they are able to do incredible stuff." Watch Manchester United vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event on Sunday from 4pm
Saturday 23 October 2021 12:57, UK
Jurgen Klopp dismissed Paul Scholes' suggestion that he was "rubbing his hands together" while watching Manchester United's defensive performance against Atalanta.
Former United midfielder Scholes slammed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side for their display in midweek, particularly in the first half, when they were overrun in midfield and conceded a glut of goal-scoring chances, despite coming from two goals down to win the match 3-2.
Klopp, whose side have scored 30 goals in their last nine matches, said: "There was not one second where I was rubbing my hands. Atalanta caused United some problems in the first half but even then United had three clear-cut chances.
"The second half was a pure power presentation of United. They went for it and with the quality they have they can cause any team problems, especially when you stop playing football, which Atalanta did a little bit.
"I prepare the team for a tough game against a really good opponent. I have been preparing them for the last three days about Man United, Battle of Britain, all these things. We have been long enough together to know the importance of this game."
Klopp added: "Man Utd are not overly happy with the results they've got so far but we all know they are able to do incredible stuff."
Sunday's match could feature the highly-anticipated meeting between Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah, but Klopp said there was no point trying to compare the two players.
"Why should you compare them?" asked Klopp. "They're obviously both world-class players.
"While Ronaldo's left foot is not bad, Mo's is probably better. Then maybe Ronaldo in the air and on his right foot is probably better. Speed-wise they are both pretty quick, very desperate to score goals.
"Maybe that's it, I've not really thought about that. I'm not too interested in it, sorry.
Klopp described Liverpool's recent freescoring form as a "coincidence" and warned they cannot continue to rely on their attack to get them over the line as he called for an improved defensive performance against Old Trafford.
"It helps obviously but we can't be in a situation where we just rely on our goalscoring skills and think we can concede two because we always score three," said Klopp.
"It's more a coincidence that we score that often. We create chances and score but in a row it's quite strange.
"I love winning games 1-0 as well, that's completely fine if we need to keep a clean sheet, which would be a good idea for the United game anyway.
"Scoring goals is good for confidence but relying on that is the first step in the completely wrong direction. This gets mentioned quite frequently in the last few weeks, obviously we scored a lot of goals."
Klopp confirmed that Curtis Jones should be in contention to play against Manchester United but fellow midfielder Thiago Alcantara will miss the trip to Old Trafford with the calf injury that has kept him on the sidelines for the past month.
Jones took part in light training ahead of the Atletico Madrid game in midweek, and the 20-year-old has continued to build up his fitness.
"What's clear is that Curtis will train with us today (Friday), that's the plan. And Thiago not. So, these are the two things I know for the moment," said Klopp.
"Curtis will train with us today completely, he should be in contention. Thiago is running again, which is a good sign. I am not sure if he will return before the international break. But for sure, after it. We will see."
Follow all the build-up to Manchester United vs Liverpool across Sky Sports News and Sky Sports' digital platforms, including exclusive interviews and expert insight.
Coverage will begin on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 4pm on Super Sunday, following West Ham vs Tottenham; kick-off 4.30pm. David Jones will be joined by Graeme Souness and Jamie Redknapp in the studio, with Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville on the gantry with Martin Tyler for co-commentary.
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