Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has elaborated on his previous comments about Manchester United’s style of play in recent meetings between the sides.
The German appeared to criticise United counterpart Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for setting his team up like a “wall” when the Red Devils became the only team to take Premier League points off Klopp’s side this season.
Indeed, United remain the only side to have achieved that feat ahead of the clash between the two at Anfield on Sunday.
Speaking in his latest press conference on Friday, Klopp was asked about his earlier comments and said: “The games [against United] weren’t what you imagine when United play Liverpool.
“Both teams tried to win it. The last two away games were especially strange. United only defended, I said. I think. It was probably true.
“I felt it in that moment, it’s strange when you play against a high-quality opponent and they play that way.
“Against Tottenham we had 80% possession after 70 minutes, that is not normal. I don’t say United only counter-attack and it is not a criticism, just a description.”
Solskjaer was also recently quizzed on the comments and insisted that he takes them as a compliment about his side’s defending.
Speaking about Sunday’s game, Klopp continued: “It’s a very, very important football game, like games against all opponents. We have to learn to deal with this in the right manner.
“We can improve. The game at Old Trafford was a good example, we were not at our best because of their quality so we have to make it more likely we’re at our best.”
Klopp also confirmed a major injury boost for Liverpool in that Fabinho and Joel Matip will both be available for selection on Sunday after injury.
Dejan Lovren, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri all remain sidelined, however.
“Lovren will train 100% from Monday on,” Klopp said. “The other two? I don’t know exactly. I cannot rush it. When somebody tells me they are ready, I will [bring them in].”
Elsewhere, Klopp was asked about the decision from the Cameroon Football Federation to change the Africa Cup of Nations back to January next year.
The change means Liverpool will be without Naby Keita, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah for around four weeks of the season.
Klopp appeared frustrated at having to answer the question, saying: “Do we really want to open this book?”