Jurgen Klopp: Manchester United v Liverpool 'bigger than others'

Stakes high for FA Cup quarter-final clash at Old Trafford

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is looking forward to Sunday's FA Cup clash against Manchester United, stating that "some games are bigger than others".

The differences between the teams could not have been more stark as Liverpool travel to Old Trafford for a crunch quarter-final.

Liverpool are on a high in the Premier League, have already secured the League Cup trophy and are in contention for more glory this season.

United, on the other hand, are struggling to keep their head above water with question mark over the future of beleaguered manager Erik ten Hag.

However, Klopp said the atmosphere for the clash between the arch rivals will make it a special occasion.

"Some games are bigger than others. Manchester United against Liverpool is always a big game. I am looking forward to it," he was quoted as saying by the BBC.

"The fans see it as a very big game and they are very eager for us to win. There are more Liverpool fans there, so our fans have to be loud. In such games, we always achieve good performances. I don't think in any really high-rated game that we had any lows."

Klopp also hailed the "pure quality" of Mohamed Salah as the forward prepares to face his favoured opposition.

Salah scored and had three assists in his first 90 minutes since New Year's Day in the 6-1 Europa League demolition of Sparta Prague but Sunday's trip to Old Trafford will offer a better barometer of whether he is back to his sharpest.

The Egypt international will be relishing the game as he has scored more goals for Liverpool against United - a club-record 12 in 13 appearances - than any other team.

"Super good, you saw it last night. How many goals did he set up first half? He scored and was involved in all the others pretty much. Exceptional," said Klopp.

"I would have loved to take him off but it was not possible because of Bobby's situation (midfielder Bobby Clark had a minor problem) and he could manage that pretty well - even then he set up another goal which was offside."

While Liverpool are firing on all cylinders, the best Ten Hag can now hope for this year is to win the one trophy still within reach – the FA Cup – and to qualify for the Champions League.

There was some positive news for United, though, as Ten Hag expects to be boosted by the return of Rasmus Hojlund, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

United enter the match as underdogs but right-back Wan-Bissaka should return after two months out, with defender Maguire and striker Hojlund back after missing three and four games respectively.

"We had a good week," Ten Hag said. "The players you mention returned on the pitch. Partly at the start of the week and today we had a session and they were all training.

"I think (they are available). We have tomorrow one session. Of course, we have to see how they recover from this but it looks good."

Ten Hag also provided a positive update on Mason Mount - who has been kept out for four months with a calf issue - and said Tom Heaton is back with fellow goalkeeper Altay Bayindir out.

"Tom Heaton is back as well," he said. "Also, it was very good Mason Mount trained also (the) whole week with us.

"First part of the week also partly, but then also he had some full sessions with us, so it's looking good."

Lisandro Martinez, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia remain sidelined, while United confirmed Jonny Evans has been "nursing a minor issue for the past few matches".

Updated: March 15, 2024, 2:56 PM