Gary Neville believes Manchester United’s title credentials for this season rest on whether they can beat Liverpool on January 15th.
Jose Mourinho’s side extended their winning run to seven games – and their unbeaten run to 13 – with a 2-0 win over West Ham United on Monday.
A win against Liverpool – currently in second place – would take Man United to within two points of Jurgen Klopp’s men.
The former United right back, speaking on Sky Sports earlier this week, pointed towards the game with Liverpool as a pivotal point in the season.
“Their next league game is a big one – at home against Liverpool,” he said.
“That will really determine where Manchester United are at for the rest of this season. If they win that match you’d really see them as being quite dangerous as they are on the up.
“I’ve been to quite a lot of Manchester United games over the last couple of months and they’re a lot better than they were last season. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.
“The team is better and they’ve got more arrogance and personality. In the last two days they’ve started to win a bit like Manchester United used to win. They haven’t played well but they’ve won.”
All United fans will agree that the game against Liverpool is huge – way, way bigger than any other encounter with Liverpool in recent years. The result – whatever it may be – will be season-defining in one way or another.
I cannot stand games like these: no excitement, none of that normal buoyant anticipation, just that sickening, lurching sensation of fear that grows and grows as the game draws nearer, leaving your brain swarming with conflicting feelings of desperation and hardline pessimism. I often find myself switching from: “Please win, United, just please win, just this one time,” to “we’re finished – there’s no chance of us winning this, may as well not watch” with painful alacrity.
Anything other than a win would see Mourinho’s men remain in obscurity, forced to continue their endless game of catch-up with the top five; a win, on the other hand, would completely change the complexion of United’s season.