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Henrikh Mkhitaryan has lifted Man Utd for Liverpool clash, says Jamie Redknapp

Generic Jamie Redknapp image 10/08/2016

​​​​​​​Henrikh Mkhitaryan has lifted Manchester United ahead of their Nissan Super Sunday showdown with Liverpool, says Jamie Redknapp.

With nine wins in a row, it feels like Manchester United have hit form at a good time. Before their turnaround, Jose Mourinho looked really unhappy and I was beginning to get worried about them, but in the last few weeks he has been transformed.

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been a big part of it. He had a difficult start to life at Old Trafford, but I think back to their game against Tottenham in December as a big moment in their season.

I remember covering that game and thinking Spurs could easily go there and get a draw, but Mkhitaryan came into the United team and he lifted the place. He added that extra quality and scored an excellent goal.

Everyone has their own opinion and Jamie Carragher said at the time that it was good management by Mourinho to hold Mkhitaryan back, but I felt the opposite. I thought it showed what position they might have been in if he had been playing.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan celebrates after giving Manchester United a 3-0 lead
Image: Henrikh Mkhitaryan has impressed for Manchester United in recent weeks

United have won seven consecutive games since then and you can see how Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic enjoy playing with him. Having two world-class players is great, but if you have another one it takes the pressure off them.

Mourinho’s demeanour has changed as a result. When your manager is down and he looks like he’s not satisfied with things, the dressing room is not a happy place to be.

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Sky Sports Vault | Liverpool 0-1 Man Utd

He has taken the shackles off and got United playing the kind of expansive, exciting football the fans want to see. His mood is much better. It has transmitted to the team, and Mkhitaryan is a large part of that.

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The Liverpool game is huge. If United can win they will be just two points behind them. They won’t just be thinking about the top four, they will be asking themselves, ‘Can we go and win the league?’

They have certainly got the squad for it. You’ve only got to look at their 4-0 win over Reading in the FA Cup. They were able to play a really strong team, whereas Liverpool had to play a lot of kids and drew 0-0 with Plymouth.

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Ahead of Manchester Utd v Liverpool Jurgen Klopp sits down with Sky Sports for a Facebook Live special.

That shows you the options United have. When you have players like Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Athony Martial who can come into the team, you have options who can make a real difference.

With the players they have they should be looking to win the title, and this is a good chance for them to lay down a marker on Liverpool.

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insists he's aware of rivalry with Liverpool, but says there's only three points on offer on Sunday

Jurgen Klopp’s side have a few problems. They have not won in their last three and Sadio Mane is proving a huge loss since going to the Africa Nations Cup. You can play a completely different game with him, but Liverpool don’t have anyone else with that pace.

The draw against Plymouth can be explained by Klopp’s team selection and Liverpool can still make it to the EFL Cup final with their second leg against Southampton, but losing at Old Trafford would be another setback.

Jurgen Klopp in discussion with Adam Lallana after the 4-1 defeat of Stoke
Image: Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are hoping to end a three-game winless run

These two teams pretty much pick themselves when everyone is fit, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Philippe Coutinho play from the start. If they had won the last three games they might not rush him back, but it’s a case of needs must now.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists Manchester United are a much better side than when the two sides met in October.

Liverpool have had a good run of results in away games against the Premier League’s big teams but United have got their tails up. With Mkhitaryan, Pogba and Ibrahimovic in such excellent form, I think they might just edge it.

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