Speaking ahead of the clash against Liverpool on Sunday, David Moyes claims that Liverpool are the favourites to win the match at Old Trafford.
Liverpool sit on the second spot in the Premier League and are currently 11 points ahead of 6th placed Manchester United. Based on this difference in the domestic league, David Moyes believes that Liverpool have the edge over United and will be looked at to win the match even though the Red Devils have the home advantage.
“They may well be (the favourites). Their league position suggests they are ahead of us and they possibly do come here as favourites.”
Talking about the game on Sunday, Moyes indicated that he was well aware of the importance that a Manchester United-Liverpool fixture has in the English Premier League.
“I still think it’s the biggest game in the Premier League. There’s an awful lot riding on it and it’s got a great history over years. There’s a great rivalry between the two clubs. Liverpool are having a good season, they’re our next opponents at home and we have to do everything we can to beat them.”
However it does come across as surprising for a United manager to publicly call his side the under-dogs going into a match against arch-rivals Liverpool. Most United fans are used to Sir Alex Ferguson taking command at such fixtures and dismissing the rivals with utter disdain in a bid to turn Old Trafford into a formidable fortress. Such an attitude can be looked at as a weakness and might come back to haunt Moyes as he attempts to go into the match on the defensive rather than taking charge of the proceedings.
With a top four finish out of United’s grasp this season, Moyes believes that a win over Liverpool will give United a boost going into the final leg of the season.
“It would be a big boost to win on Sunday. I think everyone knows the importance of Manchester United v Liverpool. We’ve played them twice already this season and they’ve both been tight games.”
United have played Liverpool twice this season and have won only once, the Capital One fixture in September last year. However David Moyes believes that United is always strongest coming into the last leg of their season and hence can upset Brendan Rodgers this weekend.
“I think Manchester United have always been in strong positions coming into the end of the season. We’re not in as strong a position as we’d like to be, but I think every other season we’ve been very good coming into the final furlong, if you want to call it that, and we’ve got big games coming up this month.”
“Our motivation is to make sure we keep progressing. I think we have played well in recent weeks. With the exception of Olykmpiakos, I think we’ve been progressing and improving.”
The manager believes that United have been improving in their past few fixtures and is hoping that his team will peak in time to salvage some pride as the season comes to a close.
“So if we could continue to improve, that would be the most important thing for me. I see signs of it in training, I think the players are looking well, sharp and forward to it.”
“I’d like to be in a stronger position where March becomes even more important. Every game is important and I think any game that features Manchester United and Liverpool is really important.”
The manager will be looking at Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney to beat Liverpool on Sunday and has been boosted by the Dutchman’s comments regarding his future at Old Trafford. Van Persie was the subject of much speculation in the past few weeks but as come clean, pledging his future to Manchester United.
“I’ve always said we have got two outstanding players in Robin and Wayne [Rooney] and they’ve got the capability of winning games off their own back. Both are pivotal international players and I think they are sort of players any side in Europe or the world would want.”
“I’m delighted to have both of them and it’s even better both of them showing they want to be Manchester United players is even better.”
Many believe that a defeat against Liverpool at home might add another nail in the manager’s coffin and hence it will be important for Moyes to put up a strong fight on Sunday. With Olympiakos also visiting on Wednesday, David Moyes is beginning to get a taste of what it is to be a manager of a club of United’s stature. The question that still remains is whether he is cut out for it.