Liverpool midfielder Fabinho says that the confidence among his teammates to grind out a win from any situation has somewhat dropped off this season.
The Reds cantered to their first league title in 30 years last term, making history along the way. The record for the earliest title win – secured with seven games to go – featured among the club’s achievements.
Indeed, the best ever start to a season across Europe, winning 26 of the first 27 games, helped them on their way.
After 17 games last season, Liverpool had accrued 49 points from a possible 51. This time round, however, they have only managed 33 points in the same period.
Speaking to ESPN Brazil (via Sport Witness), Fabinho outlined how his teammates must trust in their process.
“In the league, unfortunately we lost some points that we didn’t lose last season,” the Brazil international said.
“It goes through a matter of trust. Last year, we had this confidence that we could win the games at any time, with collective action, individual play.
“This has not happened this year. We have to put a little more fight and work well to beat Manchester [United] and keep the lead.”
As such, there is the prospect of Liverpool falling six points behind their arch-rivals. Win, though, and Liverpool will take back top spot on goal difference.
But after the meeting at Anfield, the two clubs meet again next Sunday at Old Trafford in the FA Cup fourth round.
Neville teases Liverpool over pressure
Meanwhile, former United full-back Gary Neville has spoken of his excitement ahead of Sunday’s crunch Premier League meeting.
United’s march to the top of the table comes after almost impeccable league form since a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal at the start of November.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have only won two of their past six outings.